California Republican Party says it will not comply with state's cease and desist order on ballot drop boxes
Posted October 14, 2020 9:09 p.m. EDT
CNN — The California Republican Party said Wednesday it will not comply with the state's cease-and-desist order over unofficial ballot drop boxes placed in at least four counties ahead of the November election.
The unauthorized ballot boxes, which state officials have called illegal, have been found in at least four counties across the state: Los Angeles, Ventura, Orange and Fresno.
"Ballot harvesting program will continue," California Republican Party spokesperson Hector Barajas said in a statement to CNN.
The party made their intentions clear in a letter to the California Secretary of State on Wednesday. In the letter, attorneys for the state GOP say all of the ballot boxes deployed by the party are indoors, staffed by volunteers or party officials, secure and not labeled "official."
While images of the ballot boxes have shown the boxes labeled as "official," the state GOP said it did not authorize the use of that term and had it removed.
"The California Republican Party did not promote, or authorize the promotion of, the secure boxes as 'official mail drop boxes,'" the letter states. "When we learned that a sign using the word 'official' was used in some locations on Saturday, October, 10, 2020, we corrected that error immediately and within hours."
A spokesperson for California Secretary of State Alex Padilla, a Democrat, told CNN his office "is in the process of reviewing the CA Republican Party's response letter."
The deadline for the California Republican Party to comply or respond to the order is Thursday night.
Barajas said in an interview with CNN affiliate KABC that "a lot" of ballot boxes have been distributed statewide and the party may expand the program because "it's going well."
"We're going to continue this program," Barajas emphasized in the interview. "If you want to take us to court, then we'll see you in court."
This is a breaking story and will be updated.