Police investigate recovery of 300 California recall ballots in passed-out man's car

Police investigate recovery of 300 California recall ballots in passed-out man's car
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Police in California are investigating how a man acquired more than 300 ballots addressed to voters for use in the recall election of Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom.

On Aug. 16, officers with the Torrance Police Department took custody of the ballots from the car of a suspect who had been reported for sleeping in his vehicle in a convenience store parking lot.

"They appeared to be in a box, but they were also kind of strewn across the backseat of the vehicle, and so there was just a large portion of mail in that backseat," said Sgt. Mark Ponegalek.

Ponegalek said the ballots were unopened and that most of them were addressed to people living in the city of Lawndale and Compton.

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"We're still trying to figure out where all these belonged to at this time, so we're working with the Los Angeles [County] election office, as well as the U.S. Postal Inspector," he said.


Ponegalek said officers also found a loaded handgun, Xanax tablets, and methamphetamine, as well as numerous California drivers' licenses and credit cards belonging to others inside the suspect's car. Local reports did not identify the suspect but police indicated he has a felony criminal history.

Police said the case is being investigated by the Torrance Special Investigations Division, with help from the U.S. Postal Service and the Los Angeles County District Attorney Public Integrity Unit.

The individuals to whom the ballots were addressed will receive new ballots, the police department said in an update Monday, adding the incident is not connected to any "additional thefts of election ballots."

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California's election laws provide every registered voter be mailed a vote-by-mail ballot during recall elections. Counties began sending out ballots for the Sept. 14 recall contest earlier this month.

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Tags: News, California, California recall, Gavin Newsom, Police, Election, ballot

Original Author: Jeremy Beaman

Original Location: Police investigate recovery of 300 California recall ballots in passed-out man's car

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