The California Republican Party admitted on Tuesday that it had illegally installed more than 50 deceptively-labeled drop boxes for mail-in ballots in Los Angeles, Fresno, and Orange Counties. Any concern about vote fraud expressed by Donald Trump is, like most things about the man, complete nonsense and a sham.
The dark gray metal boxes (which had labels identifying them as either an "Official Ballot Drop off Box" or a "Ballot Drop Box") are virtually indistinguishable from the authentic drop-off sites sanctioned by the state.
On Monday, California's Attorney General, Xavier Becerra, sent a cease-and-desist order to the state- and county-level Republican parties, ordering them to remove the boxes. Voters who may have dropped their ballots into the receptacles were urged to register with the state's voter tracking website to make sure their vote will be counted.
The New York Times reported that the fake boxes "have been popping up over the past two weeks near churches, gun shops and Republican Party offices, mostly in conservative areas of a deep-blue state".
The Republicans may have envisioned this possible scenario: Ballots from these fake boxes would be dumped somewhere and then "discovered" after November 3. Since the majority of those ballots would presumably be votes for Trump, it would aid Trump's baseless claims of illegal activity by the Democrats, in a state with 55 electoral votes, the most of any state.
Hector Barajas, a spokesman for the California Republican Party, admitted Republicans were responsible for the boxes only after being "bombarded by questions" on Monday. Barajas said the boxes were legal because California law does not restrict so-called "ballot harvesting," a practice Donald Trump has called corrupt when Democrats have been accused of the same activity.
California's secretary of state, Alex Padilla, sent a memo to county elections officials urging them to investigate the unauthorized boxes. He stated that creating an illegal polling site was a felony punishable by up to four years in prison.