By Miriam Raftery
(Photo by Rebecca Jefferis Williamson)
October 12, 2020 (San Diego) – The California Republican Party has been caught putting up illegal boxes labeled “Official Ballot Drop-Off Box” in three Southern California counties, the Washington Post reports. Putting up or advertising unauthorized ballot drop-off boxes is a felony punishable by up to four years in prison. The illegal boxes have popped up at locations ranging from churches to gas stations.
A judge today ordered the illegal boxes removed.
Secretary of State Alex Padilla said that while California allows a third party to collect ballots, the person doing the collection must sign official documentation. In the case of unauthorized drop boxes, voters “do not know who it is they’re surrendering their ballot to.” He urged voters to confirm drop-off locations by checking the state voting website.
San Diego County Registrar of Voters Michael Vu told ECM today, when asked about unauthorized ballot drop-off boxes, "We have not heard of any in our county."
In San Diego County, here is a list of the only official ballot drop-off locations: https://www.sdvote.com/content/dam/rov/en/pdf/Mail_Ballot_Drop_Off_Locations.pdf Only these official boxes are considered secure, per election officials. If you want contactless drop--off, you can opt for a drive-up drop-off box outside the San Diego Registrar of Voters office (photo, left).
If you prefer to vote in person, you can do so from Oct. 31 through Nov. 3. There are fewer locations than in the past, with super-polling locations that may have longer lines, so be sure to allow extra time if you vote in person. Polls are open 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. You can find your polling place here: https://www.sdvote.com/content/dam/rov/en/pdf/Official_Polls_List.pdf
Every California voter has been sent a mail-in ballot due to COVID-19. If you choose to mail-in your ballot, doing so early is advised to allow for any delays in the mail. The last day to postmark your mail-in ballot is Election Day, Nov. 3, and it must be received no later than Nov. 6.
If you are not yet registered to vote, you can register up through October 20 at www.SDVote.com.