They said that under state law, only local elections officials can legally operate drop boxes – secured, clearly marked, publicly placed receptacles where voters can submit their ballots rather than entrust them to the Postal Service or brave potentially crowded polling places on Election Day. California’s top elections official, Secretary of State Alex Padilla, said that “unofficial” vote-by-mail ballot boxes set up by the California Republican Party had been removed.
The California Republican Party issued a statement saying they had done nothing wrong, and would keep collecting ballots that voters deliver to party-furnished drop boxes. Partisan fights over mail ballots and drop-box collections have become a defining issue in the 2020 U.S. presidential race, as the popularity of such voting methods surges this year due to the coronavirus pandemic and concerns over U.S. Postal Service delays.