In an announcement made this past Monday, the police forces in Torrance, California stated that multiple agencies are now looking into how and why multiple hundreds of stolen vote-by-mail ballots for the upcoming gubernatorial recall election were discovered hidden inside a parked car.
As reported by 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,” alongside other stolen mail, and sitting with “a loaded gun, drugs, and other illicit materials.”
Voters in California will make the decision whether or not to toss out Democratic Governor Gavin Newsom from the governor’s office in a special recall election that, as of now, has been set for September 14th. As reported by KTLA, the ballots were found the same day that they had been mailed out. FiveThirtyEight just recently put out an updated average of a group of polls that showed an average of 48.8% in favor of keeping Newsom in his current role in the office, but the vote for removing him is looking at more of an average of 47.6%. Almost every single public survey indicates the question is entirely within the margin of error.
The authorities stated that a new set of election ballots would be sent out to any and all registered voters who had been affected by the incident.
The Police Department of Torrance stated that its Special Investigations Division was currently working alongside the U.S. Postal Service and the Los Angeles County District Attorney Public Integrity Unit. As released in a statement, Torrance PD said they were “trying to figure out” what the still unidentified suspect was trying to do with all of the ballots and attempt to find out of the issue is part of an election fraud scheme.
Police officials have arrested a man last Monday for various weapons, narcotics, and forgery charges, and he has since been released back to the streets on his own recognizance.
As reported by the Times:
Officers were called about 10:45 p.m. to a 7-Eleven parking lot at 3735 Emerald St. for a report of a man passed out in a vehicle, said Sgt. Mark Ponegalek, a spokesman for the Torrance Police Department.
When officers searched the vehicle, they found a 9-millimeter handgun and stolen mail, including more than 300 ballots, Ponegalek said. In addition, the man had methamphetamine, Xanax pills, a scale, multiple California driver’s licenses and credit cards in other people’s names, police said.
As of writing, law enforcement officials do not think that the incident is part of any larger or more coordinated scheme and that the ballots found had not been altered as reported by a case update from the Torrance PD.