FRESNO, California (KSEE) – Fresno County District Attorney’s office is reviewing complaints of unauthorized ballot boxes in Fresno County – this after the Fresno County Republican Party removed drop boxes following a crackdown by the California Secretary of State’s office.
But the chairman of the Fresno County Republican Party Fred Vanderhoof said Democrats changed the law.
“So the new law, the Democrats passed, allows carte blanche, anybody wants to turn, anybody can turn in your ballot and anybody can turn in essentially any amount. So you or I could turn in 500 or 50 or 5 whatever you want to do. So, it’s very loose, there’s no rules,” Vanderhoof said.
The Secretary of State’s office has sent a letter to each county’s party chairperson to cease and desist the use of non-official drop boxes. Thomas Holyoke, a political science professor at Fresno State, says it all comes down to political perception.
“I think they were going with a loose interpretation of California law regarding ballot returning. In other words, what is sometimes called ballot harvesting is that under state law a person could deliver another person’s ballot to an official drop off point,” said Thomas Holyoke.
Locals voiced concerns about the integrity of their vote.
“What are they doing with the ballots?” said Jessica Mahoney, a Fresno County resident.
Fresno City Council President Miguel Arias said the unofficial ballot boxes are especially concerning in this politically charged election year.
“They have no business setting up this kind of arrangement and they’ve already caused damage to the public integrity of the system.”
The unofficial ballot boxes were placed in local gun stores, a gas station, and at the Fresno County Republican Party’s headquarters. All are now said to have been removed.