Social Question

JLeslie's avatar

What do you think about the California GOP setting up fake ballot receptacles?

Asked by JLeslie (62387points) October 19th, 2020

Basically, the Republicans set up unmanned ballot collection boxes that easily can be mistaken for official ballot boxes.

California does allow people to turn in ballots for other people, which is what Republicans have been calling harvesting, but it is illegal to set up a box (it looks like a mailbox) just anywhere and have people throw their ballots in. The court ordered they be taken down and the GOP wouldn’t do it.

Now, at least the GOP has agreed to man the boxes.

Would you be ok with dropping off your ballot in an unofficial collection box? Do you think it should be illegal? Is it ballot harvesting in your opinion?

Here are a few links:



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71 Answers

filmfann's avatar

They have shown that they are willing to cheat to win.
This is why we need stockades and horse whipping in the town square.

YARNLADY's avatar

It looks to me like the start of a ploy to declare a rigged election – rigged by the Republicans. Today someone started a fire inside of an official ballot box.

zenvelo's avatar

Criminals attempting to steal and destroy votes. They should be forced to lose any precinct in which they placed fake boxes, automatic tally of all registered voters in the precinct go to the Democratic candidate.

Zaku's avatar

I think the GOP should be prosecuted and disbanded for gross corruption and crimes.

Dutchess_III's avatar

The world has gone mad.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Trump has declared a free for all election cheating with no consequences.

jca2's avatar

I think it’s terrible but I’m sure the Trump lovers will defend it.

janbb's avatar

There should be legal consequences for this criminal action.

JLeslie's avatar

I should have asked what people think about Democrats putting fake ballot boxes in Florida and Michigan. That isn’t happening, it’s totally made up just for this comment, but it would have been interesting to see the answers and then say the truth is it’s the GOP in California. I would do it on Facebook out of curiosity, except it might get passed around like it’s true, and I don’t want to be the beginning of a false rumor about the election and ballots.

crazyguy's avatar

I think California should take action against all illegal actions with regard to official ballots. It is not enough to single out Republicans; if they look they will find plenty of instances of Democratic illegalities also.

crazyguy's avatar

@janbb There probably will be. How about Biden accepting a bribe?

KNOWITALL's avatar

I’ll have to read more about this, in a few more sources. On the face of it, seems illegal.

JLeslie's avatar

Let’s say it’s legal, would you feel comfortable putting your ballot in one of those boxes? I would never hand my ballot over to a stranger, except for a postal service employee or a poll worker.

janbb's avatar

@JLeslie Yes, please don’t do that on FB. There is enough misinformation going around.

LostInParadise's avatar

What reason does the GOP give for having the ballot boxes? Do they really think that more are needed? At the very least, their ballot boxes should say that they are being used by the GOP. Personally, I think that ballot boxes run by a non-government group should be illegal.

Response moderated (Flame-Bait)
zenvelo's avatar

@LostInParadise The fake ballot boxes provide a method for ballots to never be included in the counting process. That is the intent, to steal votes.

And they have been warned that such boxes are illegal.

Call_Me_Jay's avatar

if they look they will find plenty of instances of Democratic illegalities also.

“We also need to prosecute the Democrat crimes for which there is no evidence.”

KNOWITALL's avatar

@JLeslie So from what I read via multiple sources, is that this is a legal grey area and charges will NOT be pressed. I’m not sure I’d use the word ‘fake’ since they are legit and legal.

Neither side trusts the other, which is I’m sure, the reason behind the Cali GOP wanting to collect their own votes, to make sure they get where they should go.

This seems to be a slightly less biased article, if it helps.

‘Unlike in North Carolina, California voters are allowed to entrust their ballot to anyone for delivery. The signature requirement is meant to ensure that “someone is taking responsibility for that ballot,” said Kim Alexander, president of the nonpartisan California Voter Foundation.’
The Republican Party counters that because the law also instructs county officials not to disqualify a ballot solely for lacking that information, it isn’t illegal to set up a ballot collection operation that doesn’t require a signature.

zenvelo's avatar

@KNOWITALL ”...they are legit and legal.”

The State of California said they were illegal and sent a cease and deist order. The boxes were unstaffed and unsupervised. The State GOP has removed them.

Even the last Republican Governor called the State GOP “off the rails”. This was a blatant attempt by the GOP to steal ballots.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@zenvelo Illegal unstaffed, otherwise not illegal. Did you even read the less-biased article I posted?

Tropical_Willie's avatar

High crimes and misdemeanors, rigged by “orange make-up and bad comb-over”.

JLeslie's avatar

@KNOWITALL I actually agree with not requiring the voter themselves to have to turn in their own ballot. I can see arguments both ways to require a signature of the person turning it in.

My problem with these boxes was some or all (I’m not sure if it was all) of them originally said “official” ballot box, and to me that is deceptive and should be illegal, and was found to be illegal. Moreover, I agree with the state saying the locations must be manned. I don’t care if it’s a table, a person, and a shoebox, I feel the person should honestly have to identify what organization they are associated with both verbally and with a sign.

The thing that bothers me most is the hypocrisy. I think a lot of Republicans would have a hissy fit if this story had come out about Democrats and I think a lot of Democrats would defend it if the story had come out about Democrats doing it. I’m not accusing you of being a hypocrite, you obviously are interested in the details, I’m talking in general about how cable news shows and social media would pick up the stories and how so much of our population can’t be objective.

The Republicans and Trump have didn’t months criticizing the Democrats about harvesting votes. It seems to me they cry witch all the time.

I see threads on my Facebook of Republicans saying, “I don’t trust them at all.” Them being Democrats. Makes me sad to have so much distrust in our country.

I do think the better solution is more government drop places and more effort for USPS to be able to handle the load without politicians creating fear about the mail system being unreliable. Most people have convenient mailboxes near them, and then the ballot has a postmark showing when the voter actually voted.

@janbb Right, that’s what I wrote.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@JLeslie I think both sides of the aisle should adhere to the legal guidelines. The article I posted above specifically said it was a grey area legally, so that leaves room for interpretation.

JLeslie's avatar

@KNOWITALL Yes, I agree, and I basically stated the situation in my opening statement, but I also think America needs to work out what they feel should be legal.

Many Republicans seemed to be saying harvesting should be illegal. I hate the word harvesting to begin with. I see no problem with helping my neighbors or my in-laws vote as long as it is their vote of their own free will.

I understand that if it is legal Republicans can still utilize it even if they overall disagree with it. I utilize some tax laws that I probably would vote against, but it’s the law right now.

I’m tired of the antagonism and propaganda though. We can criticize Democrats as readily as Republicans.

Trump and many Republicans are sowing distrust in the whole system. It’s bad. If the country wants to be an example of freedom and democracy Democrats and Republicans should be working together to get an accurate honest vote, and indeed they do work together at polling centers. Why are we telling our citizenry and the world that our voting isn’t to be trusted. I just don’t understand it. Both Democrats and Republicans are worried about the honesty of the vote at this point. Luckily, there are some rational voices in both parties.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@JLeslie I think this is a political war between the two major parties and the only losers are the American people. And trust me, I agree both parties could do far better for us, than they have.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I just don’t understand how trump keeps getting away with his shit.

chyna's avatar

@Dutchess_III I ask myself the same thing every day.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I’m reading Mary Trump’s book now. It’s just a continuation of his life, getting away with everything.

cheebdragon's avatar

There is zero motivation for them to not hand in any of the ballots. The ballot boxes weren’t a fucking secret, their locations were posted in republican Facebook groups and GOP officials made it very clear that they set up the boxes. Ballots can be tracked, it would be completely retarded for them to destroy ballots directly linked to collection boxes they distributed.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

. . ” completely retarded” and against the law. @cheebdragon

And how are they tracked by GOP ballot boxes ? ?

GOP boxes are not tracked by the election board!

JLeslie's avatar

@cheebdragon Just wondering, if the story was about Democrats setting up illegal unmanned boxes in Florida, how do you think most Trump supporters would have reacted? How do you think social media and Fox News would have reacted?

Would you have been the voice of reason telling your Republican friends who are calling Democrats cheaters that the ballot can be tracked and it’s no different than if the voter drops the ballot in the mail or off at a voting center?

KNOWITALL's avatar

@JLeslie I’m sorry but I have to mention that ‘whataboutism’ is frowned upon and mocked here every time a conservative tries to make a valid point, so it’s not really fair for you to use that at least three times in the last couple days with this topic, and no one say anything about it. Nothing personal, but fair is fair.

Dutchess_III's avatar

That wasn’t exactly a “whataboutism” @KNOWITALL. It was simply a hypothetical scenario.

JLeslie's avatar

@KNOWITALL I never do that mocking, but I agree Democrats have been awful about that here and in the media. I think it is fine pointing out hypocrisy as long as the question gets answered, and it isn’t just a deflection.

Since it is my Q, and I don’t do that, maybe you or @cheebdragon will answer it though. I think you would research and think about it just like you did, but what about a lot of the Trump people you know? Don’t you think they would jump all over it? I could ask Democrats the same, would they have defended it as ok if it had been boxes in what are considered underserved minority areas. Both groups could be hypocritical.

Dutchess_III's avatar

The only ballot boxes I’ve seen were at the tag office, which is where you go to vote early.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@JLeslie Well you’ve come close a few times, so I’ll let my answer from yesterday finish this Q for me. Respect is a two way street. Thanks.

JLeslie's avatar

@KNOWITALL Oh that’s fine. I wasn’t meaning that you should answer, I actually was asking cheebdragon originally anyway not you, since she seemed annoyed that anyone thinks it’s a big deal.

cheebdragon's avatar

@Tropical_Willie Ballots can be easily tracked , which means that if someone leaves their ballot in a “fake” drop box set up by the GOP, they will get a notification when the ballot is mailed, received & counted. If they don’t receive a notification all they have to do is report it.

@JLeslie If Democrats setup unofficial ballot drop boxes in Florida, they’d probably end up going to jail and it has fuck all to do with political affiliation, they’d go to jail because ballot harvesting is illegal in Florida. Would I have been the voice of reason and defended their drop boxes? It would entirely depend on where the boxes were located, the GOP left boxes in locations like gun stores, churches and their own office, they shared the locations in republican Facebook groups and on Twitter. How many criminals post the exact location of their future crimes on social media?

JLeslie's avatar

@cheebdragon The original set-up of the drop boxes in California were illegal, the courts said so, they were unmanned and said “official,” when they were not official. They were ordered by the court to take them down. Then the GOP took “official“ off the boxes and the boxes are manned now. Plenty of people post crimes in social media. Probably, a lot of people posting and sharing didn’t even know it was a crime.

Why does the location matter at all? At a church is ok, gun shop ok, so where is it not ok?

I don’t know how you personally define harvesting, but in Florida anyone can drop off anyone’s ballot. I think the law is against paying someone to collect ballots. I dropped off my husband’s ballot in the August election.

Dutchess_III's avatar

What does “manned” mean? There was a ballot drop off box outside of the tag office where I voted….but there was no one watching over it.

JLeslie's avatar

@Dutchess_III Manned means someone there, but the California law might only specify manned for unofficial boxes, I am not sure about that. The box you used was an official government box I would assume, plus you are in a different state so the laws might be different.

In Florida anyone can drop off your ballot, so let’s say I go door to door to my neighbors and collect their ballots for them, or let’s say I work in a nursing home and collect the ballots of the people who live there, and then I go to the polling place and drop them off. That’s all legal in my state. The people know who they are giving the ballot to, and I have agreed to drop the ballots off. If I set up a table on my street or at the nursing home and people come to me and drop off their ballot, that is basically the same. I might put them all on a bag, or in a box, etc. I think that is why it has to be manned.

If it is an official ballot box from the state, then a state or county employee who works for elections will be the person opening the box and collecting the ballots.

I think people want to know who they are giving their ballot to. Either USPS, an elections worker, or a trusted person who will deliver it to USPS or an elections worker. I personally wouldn’t want to put my ballot in some box set up by some organization, not even the Democratic party, and how do I know for sure it was the party if they are already willing to break the law.

I don’t understand why Californians even need more ballot boxes, are there not plenty of places to drop one’s ballot already?

Dutchess_III's avatar

No one was there.

crazyguy's avatar

@JLeslie In the People’s Republic of California, it is ok to pay an operative to collect and drop off ballots. The only restriction is that the payment cannot be based on the number of ballots delivered.

JLeslie's avatar

@crazyguy Ok. That sounds ok to me. As long as they don’t misrepresent themselves.

crazyguy's avatar

@JLeslie Would you not worry that some laws may be broken by the hordes of unemployed and homeless people living in California?

JLeslie's avatar

@crazyguy I’m not sure what you mean?

crazyguy's avatar

I meant intimidation of voters.

JLeslie's avatar

@crazyguy Who is intimidating who? No one should be intimidating anyone. To me that is like a threat to a person, I would think it is illegal. You can’t harass people.

crazyguy's avatar

@JLeslie I am sure you are not naive enough to believe that all people are moral. If you give enough financial incentive to ballot harvesters you can bet your bottom dollar they will deliver some ballots, one way – or the other.

JLeslie's avatar

@crazyguy I’m still not sure what you are specifically talking about. Are you saying paid people are going to pressure people to vote for a certain candidate?

crazyguy's avatar

@JLeslie Let me spell it out for you.

In order to get paid my $1,000 pr whatever, I promised to deliver 200 ballots. I have 100 already. The problem is getting the other 100. I can go door to door in this neighborhood of senior citizens, or I can do a shakedown at this nursing home I know.

JLeslie's avatar

@crazyguy I think most nursing homes have rules against that.

Plus, it isn’t shaking someone down to help them to vote.

In Florida you can’t shake anyone down, because the person has to order their ballot ahead of time. I know a few states don’t require that.

Having more people vote shouldn’t be cause for worry in a country that supposedly prides itself as a democracy.

You are basically saying you want fewer people to vote.

I’m completely against anyone harassing anyone or coercing anyone to vote.

What about Minnesota? Are you ok with a last minute law change? It is printed on the ballot that it is valid if postmarked by November 3, and the recent court case just ruled it is only valid if it arrives to the elections office by Nov 3. Why are Republicans doing that? Because they know the majority of mail-in is Democrats?

Dutchess_III's avatar

I think he’s assuming voting fraud is a piece of cake. Of course it’s not.

crazyguy's avatar

@JLeslie @Dutchess_III No, voting fraud is certainly not a piece of cake. However, it does happen.

I just request you both to consider why a voter would sit on his/her mail-in ballot until Election Day? The ballots were mailed out in the first week of October and presumably received in the second week of October. If these ballots arrive at the state registrar’s office five days after Election Day with no postmark, or an illegible postmark, should they be counted as all other ballots, or, as requested by the Republicans, should they be segregated and counted after future challenges to their validity have been exhausted? Please think carefully before answering.

Dutchess_III's avatar

There is no law that says they have to go through the post office which is where a post mark would come from. They can be walked the polls in person.
The Rebubs are just setting the stage to claim invalid voting.

crazyguy's avatar

@Dutchess_III If they are walked to the polls in person, they are required to be there by Election Day. At least those voters cannot blame slow mail delivery.

JLeslie's avatar

@crazyguy It should be whatever rules were set in place before the ballots were sent out.

If people want to fight about whether it should be received by election day or post marked by election day, the time to do that is before voting starts.

An argument for the postmark deadline is the person can walk to the polls and vote on Election Day or walk to the mailbox. Both are the individual taking the action to vote on the same deadline day.You make it sound like the person didn’t bother to vote on time, but they actually did. It’s just a matter of mail service efficiency, which is out of their hands.

In fact, that is basically the deadline for our military in my state, probably others. Out of country citizens need to sign and date by Election Day and it needs to be received within 10 days after Election Day. A lot of our military fall under that.

I think the fair thing is postmarked by Oct 30 so the majority of ballots arrive on time. Otherwise, the person can walk in their ballot or put in an official ballot box. If the mail is slow, but the person met the Oct 30 deadline it should be sufficient. The only time it matters is when the vote is so close they need the actual count from late ballots. I say Oct 30, but that needs to be decided BEFORE the voting process begins.

Every election states call the winner without having counted or even received all the ballots, because they know the number of outstanding ballots won’t change the winner.

It’s just that now the average person is more aware and making it all into something, but they are unaware about what has gone in for years.

If Minnesota goes to Biden under the new ruling, all of a sudden Trump will say, “that’s not right changing the law 5 days before the election, we should count the ballots.”

Dutchess_III's avatar

If those are the laws then voters need to adhere to them
And exactly. It they walk it to the polls they can’t blame the mail.

JLeslie's avatar

@Dutchess_III They changed the law 5 days before the election. They can’t do it under the Purcell Principle. I don’t see how the US Supreme Court will hold the decision to change it if it gets brought before the Supreme Court.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I don’t know what you’re talking about. Each state has their own voter laws. Who changed what rule?

JLeslie's avatar

Minnesota just changed their voting rules, a court agreed with a challenge the Republican party brought to change the rules in that state.

It is printed on the MN mail-in ballot that the voter has to have it post marked by Election Day. Just a couple of days ago a court ruled that it has to arrive at the elections office by Election Day. The Supreme Court has ruled you can’t change voting laws right before or during an election. Here is the Purcell Principle.

Dutchess_III's avatar

They TRIED to change the law but were unable to due to the Purcell Principal.

JLeslie's avatar

@Dutchess_III The way I understood it, a court in early October said that the ballots needed to be postmarked by Election Day and the ballots say that. Then there was an appeal, and on appeal the Federal Court reversed the early October ruling, which was just a few days ago.

Which change of law are you referring to? That the case a few days ago cited the Purcell Principle as the reason ballots had to be received by Election Day?

Dutchess_III's avatar

I have no idea. You started this line of thought.

crazyguy's avatar

@JLeslie @Dutchess_III Here is what happened in chronological order.

1. Minnesota Law requires ballots to arrive by Election Day. See

2. The Minnesota Secretary of State, Steve Simon, decided at some time (I have not been able to dig up the exact date) to allow seven extra days for mail-in ballots to arrive, even if they lack a postmark.

3. A lawsuit was filed by two state electors, State Rep Eric Lucero and GOP activist James Carson, on Sep 22, 2020, challenging the delayed ballot acceptance – see

4. A district judge rejected the lawsuit on Oct 11, 2020.

5. An appeal was filed and resulted in overturning of the district judge’s decision.

6. The current status is that ballots arriving late will be segregated and not counted until all legal challenges have been resolved.

JLeslie's avatar

@crazyguy Even if they lack a postmark? Why would anyone think that’s ok? Of course, if they have ballot boxes there is no postmark, but I would assume all ballot boxes are cleared out election day.

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