The biggest election fraud story you haven’t heard about

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Analysis by Chris Cillizza | CNN Editor-at-large

President Donald Trump talks incessantly about the dangers of mail-in balloting in 2020 — even as what he cites as examples of this alleged fraud are almost always explained away as simple human error.

Which brings me to California and the California Republican Party, in particular.

In at least three counties in the state — Fresno, Los Angeles and Orange — unofficial ballot drop boxes have popped up promising, wrongly, that they are “authorized” places where people can deposit their mail-in votes.

The California Republican Party is behind the effort, which a spokesman for the organization told CNN on Monday amounts to an opportunity for “friends, family, and patrons to drop off their ballot with someone they know and trust.”

Except that it doesn’t work that way under California election law. You can’t just cut a hole in a cardboard box, write “authorized” on it and say that it’s totally cool for voters to drop their ballots in it.

Why not? Well, security, mostly. Who controls the box once votes — or even a single vote — is deposited in it? How can we be sure that every vote put into one of these unauthorized boxes is counted?

The unofficial boxes lack a “chain of custody and we don’t have the requirements or regulations for these fake drop boxes as you do for the official drop boxes,” California Secretary of State Alex Padilla, a Democrat, told CNN’s Chris Cuomo on Monday night.

Which, yeah, makes sense.

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So why are Republicans doing this? Because they believe that it is a reasonable counter to a law passed in 2016 in California that allows a third party to collect ballots and turn them in at an authorized voting location. (Democrats call this “ballot collection”; President Trump calls it “ballot harvesting.”)

The difference, of course, is that the ballot collection system has all sorts of safeguards and checks written into the law to avoid fraud. What the California GOP is doing has none of that.

The Point: For all of Trump’s wild charges about election rigging and vote-by-mail fraud being perpetrated by Democrats, it’s his own party in California that is actively skirting the laws.

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Source:: The Mercury News – Entertainment

      

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