Check twice before dropping off your ballot in California. The state’s GOP has been caught encouraging people to drop their votes into legit-looking boxes marked: “Official ballot drop-off box.” But the boxes are not official at all—and could, in fact, be illegal. The existence of the boxes was first flagged by the Orange County Register. They were noticed after one state GOP operative, Jordan Tygh, posted a photo of himself next to one of the boxes in a now-deleted tweet with the caption: “DM me for convenient locations to drop your ballot off at!”
The California attorney general on Monday afternoon issued cease-and-desist orders to the state Republican party, ordering them to remove the unauthorized boxes, according to BuzzFeed News reporter Salvador Hernandez. California Secretary of State Alex Padilla, a Democrat, told The Washington Post: “Operating unofficial ballot drop boxes—especially those misrepresented as official drop boxes—is not just misleading to voters, it’s a violation of state law.” The state GOP defended itself on Twitter, saying that the practice was no different to volunteers who collect ballots from voters.