Calif. Republican party planning to expand ballot box initiative despite order to stop

California Republicans said the boxes are legal under the ballot harvesting law.
SONOMA COUNTY, Calif. (KGO) -- The California Republican Party said it plans to expand a ballot drop box program despite a cease and desist order from Secretary of State Alex Padilla.

Padilla said that state law allows only county election officials to set up official ballot drop boxes, and there are specific rules for how those ballots are retrieved.

The state Republicans, however, said the boxes are considered legal under the ballot harvesting law. The law is recent, changed in California in 2018 to authorize another person to take a ballot to a collection site. In the past Republicans have been opposed to ballot harvesting, some even suggesting that the law has influenced the outcome of past elections.

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"We have been opposed to ballot harvesting, but we have a choice," said Republican Spokesman Hector Barajas. "We can either whine and complain about the election results later or we can get smart and figure out the rules and the chessboard they laid out before us and play the game that they're doing."

Governor Gavin Newsom tweeted a picture of a ballot drop box in Sonoma County Tuesday with the caption: "This is what an OFFICIAL dropbox looks like. This one happens to be in Sonoma County. These are all across the state. In CA, we are making sure voting is safe, easy, and secure." He ended the tweet by providing a link for Californians to find their official drop boxes.
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