Judge rejects California AG effort to investigate GOP ballot boxes – Los Angeles Times

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Judge rejects California AG effort to investigate GOP ballot boxes – Los Angeles Times

A Sacramento judge refused Wednesday to order the California Republican Party to disclose information about its ballot drop box program to state officials, rejecting an argument by Atty. Gen. Xavier Becerra that the investigation was essential to ensuring ballots are being properly handled.

The decision by Judge David Brown does not prevent Becerra and Secretary of State Alex Padilla from returning to court over the matter but marks a significant victory for GOP officials who have insisted their ballot collection campaign is following state election law.

A one-page form signed by Brown says there is “no immediate harm or irreparable injury” to the state in the Republican Party’s refusal to comply with a subpoena seeking information about voters whose ballots have been collected and the locations of the private drop boxes in communities across the state.

“The California Republican Party will continue to help Californians vote safely and securely by continuing to gather ballots in trusted places, and deliver them promptly according to law,” Hector Barajas, a party spokesman, said in a written statement.

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Republican leaders have sparred with Becerra and Padilla, both Democrats, for the past two weeks over the GOP program that relies on California’s ballot collection law, which states that a voter may “designate a person” to return their completed ballot to an elections office. The 2016 law does not limit the number of
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