According to local authorities, Hundreds of ballots for California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s recall election, drugs and a loaded gun were found last week in a vehicle where a felon was passed out inside – signaling major foul play may be involved in the state’s recall election.
According to the Los Angeles Times, “Officers responding to a call Aug. 16 about a man who was passed out in a vehicle found more than 300 ballots,” other stolen mail, along with “a loaded gun, drugs, and other illicit materials.”
During the investigation, officers learned the suspect was a felon and had Xanax pills in his possession. Police said a further investigation found thousands of pieces of mail, including over 300 ballots for the upcoming recall election of embattled Gov. Gavin Newsom inside the vehicle.
In addition to the mail and ballots, police found a loaded firearm, methamphetamine, a scale and multiple California driver’s licenses and credit cards in other people’s names.
California voters will decide whether to oust Democratic Governor Gavin Newsom from office in a special recall election set for September 14. KTLA reported that the ballots were discovered the same day they were mailed out. FiveThirtyEight recently published an updated average of several polls that showed an average of 48.8% for keeping Newsom in his current role, while removing him is polling at an average of 47.6%. Practically every public survey indicates the question is within the margin of error.
Police said new election ballots were being sent to those identified through the investigation and that the incident was not tied to any additional thefts of election ballots.
Authorities are not certain how exactly the ballots ended up in the suspect’s vehicle or what he intended to do with them.
The Torrance Police Department said its Special Investigations Division was working with the U.S. Postal Service and the Los Angeles County District Attorney Public Integrity Unit. In a statement, Torrance PD said they were “trying to figure out” what the unidentified suspect intended to do with the ballots and determine if the case involves election fraud.
Some recall proponents have speculated that the recovered ballots could be part of a fraudulent ballot harvesting operation, noting other mail thefts around the state.
The controversial practice has recently been made illegal in Arizona and Florida but is lawful in California. It allows anyone to return completed ballots as long as certain procedures are followed.
The suspect was arrested and faces numerous weapons, narcotics and forgery charges. His name was not released.
Newsom’s recall election will be held on Sept.14. The recall push was launched in June of last year over claims the governor mishandled the state’s response to the pandemic.
The effort surged in November after Newsom appeared to skirt the state-imposed coronavirus restrictions when he was spotted dining in a high-end restaurant without a mask and surrounded by people from outside of his own household.
Newsom has proven himself to be rather desperate and willing to do anything to hold on to the power he possesses as the governor of California so it wouldn’t be shocking if he and his allies were behind an election rigging scheme like this one to keep him in his role.
Author: Devin Hayes