‘Falsely claim to be illegal:’ Ballot box cease and desist rejected by California Republican Party

California

SACRAMENTO, California (KSEE/KGPE) – The California Republican Party responded Wednesday to the cease and desist letter issued by the state – over what was described as unofficial ballot boxes.

In a four-page letter addressed to both California’s Secretary of State Alex Padilla and the Office of the Attorney General Xavier Becerra, attorney Thomas W. Hiltachk branded the claim the boxes are illegal as false, arguing that identical programs were conducted during the Primary Election “without incident or objection.”

As part of the four-page response, Hiltachk highlights that no box is left unattended at any party office, no box was placed outside (or in an unsecured location), all vote-by-mail ballots were delivered timely as required by law, and the California Republican Party did not promote the boxes as “official mail drop boxes.”

The program you now falsely claim to be illegal is a perfect example of what you “proudly”
stated to be permissible just last year.

Attorney Thomas W. Hiltachk

Hiltachk’s response also states that the Elections Code cited by the state (section 3025) only applies to county elections officials, while the boxes were not referred to as a county drop-off location.

You can read the full letter here.

As part of the cease and desist request, Secretary of State Alex Padilla said the unofficial drop boxes lack those protections, making them vulnerable to tampering.

Padilla had his chief legal counsel send Republicans a letter on Monday ordering them to remove the boxes by Thursday. He also ordered them to provide the state with the names, addresses, and birthdays of all voters who have already dropped off ballots.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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