Someone put a burning newspaper in an official California ballot box, causing a fire that damaged several ballots

Mario Tama/Getty ImagesPedestrians place ballots in an official mail-in ballot drop box outside of the LA County Registrar’s office ahead of Election Day on October 14, 2020 in Norwalk, California. The affected ballot box is not pictured here.
  • The inside of an official voter ballot box in California was set on fire Sunday night, KABC-TV reported.
  • Local authorities said the fire started after someone placed a burning newspaper inside the box outside the Baldwin Park public library.
  • The incident is under investigation according to a statement from the Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk.
  • The registrar’s office said it is attempting to identify and contact registered voters whose ballots may have been damaged in the incident.
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A fire inside an official voting ballot box damaged a number of ballots in Southern California on Sunday night.

Firefighters say they found a burning newspaper in the ballot box outside the Baldwin Park public library, KABC-TV reported.

The firefighters inserted a hose into the ballot box to extinguish the fire and used a chainsaw to “remove stacks of burned ballots,” the local CBS News affiliate KCBS-TV reported. An arson investigation is underway.

The Los Angeles County Supervisor Hilda L. Solis released a statement rebuking whomever caused the fire, saying it “has all the signs of an attempt to disenfranchise voters and call into question the security of our elections.”

“Tampering, or attempts to tamper, with our democracy will not be tolerated. Rest assured, LA County residents’ voices will be heard when they vote, including in this election,” the statement read.

The registrar’s office said it is attempting to identify and contact voters whose ballots may have been damaged in the fire.

California has installed official ballot boxes throughout the state ahead of the November 3 general election as a safety measure due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The move is meant to provide registered voters with more ways to cast their ballots without having to visit a polling place in person.

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