The Republican Party routinely insists that California is a hotbed of voter fraud. For proof, they point to the fact that voters are allowed to hand over their ballots to another person who submits them on their behalf. The California GOP decries this practice as “ballot harvesting” and attacks its legality to delegitimize election results. This year, some California Republicans went further: Some GOP operatives set up ballot drop boxes that are falsely marked “official,” encouraging voters to place their ballots in these phony boxes. These Republicans appear to have committed felony election fraud.
Over the weekend, the Orange County Register and KCAL broke the news that these official-looking drop boxes had cropped up in Fresno, Los Angeles, and Orange County outside campaign headquarters, churches, and businesses. The Fresno County Republican Party had a list of “Ballot Collection Box Locations” on its website that was removed sometime Monday morning. The list included multiple gun stores and firing ranges. On Friday, Jordan Tygh—a regional field director for the California Republican Party—tweeted (then deleted) a photo of himself holding his ballot next to a box labeled “OFFICIAL BALLOT DROP OFF BOX.” Tygh said he was “proud to have cast my vote” for Michelle Steel, who is challenging Democratic congressman Harley Rouda. He added: “DM me for convenient locations to drop your ballot off at!” But the box in Tygh’s photo was not “official,” even though it was plainly designed to look like one of California’s actual ballot drop boxes. (There are more than 400 in L.A. County alone.)