Orange County Registrar of Voters Neal Kelley said it is unclear how many similar boxes are being used or their locations.
“Voters who want to return their ballot at a drop box should only use official county drop boxes,” Kelley said. “Official ballot drop boxes are clearly recognizable, designed to meet state standards for security, and bear the official Orange County elections logo.”
Tygh did not immediately respond to messages seeking comment.
The Orange County District Attorney’s office is investigating the situation, said press information officer Kimberly Edds.
“We’re still in our legal review and we haven’t made a determination, but there are strict restrictions on what governs an official ballot box,” she said.
State elections officials on Sunday said the boxes are prohibited by California law. A five-page memorandum sent to county elections offices from Jana Lean, chief of the secretary of state’s enforcement division, said the receptacles were not consistent with ballot collection rules.
“County elections officials alone have the authority to designate the location, hours of operation, and number of drop boxes in the county,” Lean wrote, “and have the responsibility for ensuring compliance with all applicable statutes and regulations that guarantee the security and chain of custody of vote-by-mail ballots deposited.”