The US Republican party clashed with the authorities of the predominantly Democratic state in California after it set up its own postal voting collection points in three counties.
According to the authorities, this is against the electoral law. The Republicans acknowledge that they have put the buses down, but refuse to take them away.
The authorities have ordered the Republican party to remove the unofficial ballot boxes. The Republicans’ refusal is likely to lead to further legal wrangling, marking the run-up to the upcoming presidential election in virtually all US states.
Because of the corona epidemic, more voters than ever will vote by mail. However, the Republicans, led by President Donald Trump, claim without any evidence that this promotes election fraud.
According to the Democrats, the Republicans’ attacks on postal voting are trying to prevent people from voting by mail and cast doubt on the legitimacy of the election.
The California authorities are promoting the official ballot boxes for voting as a facility whereby voters do not have to worry about the timely delivery of their completed ballot papers. California State Ministers Alex Padilla and Xavier Becerra argue that state electoral law only allows district authorities to set up collection points.
According to Padilla, authorities have received signals that some of the Republican collection points in the Los Angeles, Fresno and Orange counties have been falsely labelled as official. Becerra warned Republicans that it is a criminal offence to tamper with votes.
“Anyone who is knowingly involved in the cheating or misuse of votes could be prosecuted,” he added. “You have the right to vote and the right to know that your vote is properly counted.”