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Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

An illegal drop box operated by California's Republican Party

Despite a cease-and-desist order from California's Secretary of State, the state's Republican party continues to deny wrongdoing after setting up multiple illegal ballot drop boxes around the state.

Law enforcement discovered the drop boxes — some of which were falsely labeled "official" — over the weekend.

On Monday, California Secretary of State Alex Padilla said that the operation was a clear breach of election law.

On Wednesday, Republican officials falsely claimed that their unofficial ballot drop boxes don't violate state law, and said they would continue to put up the fake drop boxes.

"There is nothing illegal about the collection of ballots provided by voters, on a certainly volunteer basis, and entrusted to the persons who are operating that local election, or local party office, from transmitting those ballots," California Republican Party general counsel Tom Hiltachk said.

"We're going to continue with the program because it complies with the law," he added.

Padilla said many of the ballots found in the drop boxes were invalid because they were missing information, such as the identity of the person submitting the vote and their relationship to the voter.

Donald Trump has routinely accused his adversaries of exploiting official state drop boxes to tamper with ballots, which he has called "a whole big scam."

"Some states use 'drop boxes' for the collection of Universal Mail-In Ballots," Trump tweeted in August. "So who is going to 'collect' the Ballots, and what might be done to them prior to tabulation? A Rigged Election? So bad for our Country. Only Absentee Ballots acceptable!"

There is no evidence for this claim. Official ballot boxes are designed to ensure the security and integrity of individual ballots.

This is just the latest example of Trump working to undermine the legitimacy of the presidential election that former Vice President Joe Biden is favored to win.

The Trump campaign has filed a flurry of lawsuits mostly targeting blue states to make it more difficult to vote safely during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Meanwhile, Republicans across the country continue to uphold restrictive voter ID laws and other laws that make it harder for citizens to vote.

In Texas, a three-judge panel upheld Republican Gov. Greg Abbott's decision to limit each county in the state to just one official ballot drop box. The judges who ruled in the case were all appointed by Trump.

As Nov. 3 inches closer, Trump will likely continue to try to sow confusion and invalidate the election's results ahead of time.

Last month, a reporter asked Trump if Americans could expect a peaceful transition of power if Biden wins the election.

"We're going to have to see what happens, Trump replied.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.

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