The Presidential election is just weeks away and states like California are facing an increasing amount of issues regarding mail-in voting. On Monday California’s Secretary of State Alex Padilla and Attorney General Xavier Becerra were forced to send out cease-and-desist letters to the state Republican party due to the hand they played in the distribution of unauthorized election ballot drop boxes through Los Angeles, Ventura, and Orange counties. Partaking in the unauthorized ballot collection, according to Padilla’s Twitter, is a violation of state law, holding a potential prison sentence of two to four years. Just how many boxes were distributed remains to be seen, however at least some of the boxes belong to the State GOP, something spokesman Hector Barajas outwardly admitted on Monday.
In an effort to justify the boxes Barajas said the state’s law governing ballot harvesting allows an organization to collect and return groups of ballots. As well, Barajas stated that after responding to the letter the state GOP would continue the ballot harvest program and “not allow the Secretary of State to suppress the vote”. This opinion appeared to be supported by the majority of the State GOP, as, on their official Twitter, they posted, “Democrats are now upset because organizations, individuals and groups are offering an opportunity for their friends, family and patrons to drop off their ballot with someone they know and trust”. They then followed up in another tweet, “ If Democrats are so concerned with ballot harvesting, they are the ones who wrote the legislation, voted for it, and Governor Jerry Brown signed it into law.”
Another major issue plaguing California ballots are fake-progressive voter guides. The three most prominent “guides” are titled “Feel the Bern, Progressive Voter Guide”, “Council of Concerned Women Voters Guide” and “Our Voice, Latino Voter Guide”. All three hold the same beliefs as well as the same Long Beach mailing address, endorsing the Joe Biden-Kamala Harris ticket, according to Sfgate, several candidates for courts and college districts, and various propositions, including Prop 22, the App-Based Drivers as Contractors and Labor Policies Initiative. The official endorsement of the California Democratic Party had been “no” in regards to Prop. 22. It is important for all voters to be aware of such false information as well as unauthorized boxes mentioned above to assure their voice is truly heard in the governmental system.