SACRAMENTO, October 20, 2020 – California Attorney General Xavier Becerra today filed a petition in the Sacramento Superior Court requesting that the court order the California Republican Party to comply with outstanding investigative interrogatories. The state’s petition follows the California Republican Party’s refusal to comply with lawful demands for information regarding the deployment of unauthorized ballot drop boxes and individuals who may have used them from September 1, 2020 through October 16, 2020.
“Here in California, we’re doing everything in our power to protect the integrity of our elections,” said Attorney General Becerra. “As part of that and pursuant to our statutory authority, we issued subpoenas and interrogatories to determine the extent to which the deployment of unauthorized ballot drop boxes may have impacted Californians. Our work to ensure that all voters have confidence that their vote will count moves forward. To the extent that unauthorized ballot drop boxes are redeployed, our investigation is ongoing and we will act where necessary. We ask all Californians: if you see something, say something. It’s going to take all of us working together to stand up for our right to vote and ensure a free and fair election.”
Following complaints and reports of unauthorized ballot drop boxes across California, Attorney General Becerra and California Secretary of State Alex Padilla issued a letter on October 12, 2020 ordering the California Republican Party to cease and desist the coordination, use, and false or misleading promotion of unauthorized and non-official vote-by-mail drop boxes. The letter also sought information regarding the location and number of unauthorized drop boxes deployed, as well as details regarding individuals who used them. Subsequently, legal counsel for the California Republican Party communicated that it had taken steps to demonstrate compliance with the cease and desist letter. However, the Attorney General’s investigation remained ongoing and, as part of that process, multiple subpoenas and investigative interrogatories were issued on Friday, October 16, 2020 to require the provision of outstanding information as requested in the cease and desist letter. Today’s petition follows the California Republican Party’s failure to comply with the lawfully issued investigative interrogatories.
The State of California has taken significant steps to protect the rights of voters and ensure they can vote safely and securely. In California, county election officials are required to process and count vote-by-mail ballots that are postmarked on or before election day and arrive no later than 17 days after the election. Further, as a result of Assembly Bill 860, every active registered voter in California will receive a vote-by-mail ballot in the general election. More information about how to vote and tracking your ballot is available on the California Secretary of State’s website at https://www.vote.ca.gov/. If necessary, voters can report suspected unlawful elections-related activity to the California Secretary of State’s Office at 1-800-345-VOTE (8683) or firstname.lastname@example.org.
A copy of the petition and interrogatories, as filed with the court, is available here.