California Ballot Box Apparently Set on Fire

More than 200 ballots were impacted
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 20, 2020 12:01 AM CDT
200+ Ballots Damaged in Suspected Arson Attack
Nikki Schueller inserts her absentee voter ballot into a drop box in Troy, Mich., Thursday, Oct. 15, 2020.   (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

(Newser) – Authorities believe a California ballot box was set on fire in Los Angeles Sunday night. The ballots inside were, obviously, damaged; the Guardian reports firefighters had to spray water into the box to extinguish the blaze, then cut the box open with a chainsaw to get the ballots out. The incident is under investigation as arson, with the FBI joining local leaders in the probe. CBS LA reports more than 200 ballots were impacted, and all voters affected will be mailed a new ballot.

"The arson of an official ballot drop box ... has all the signs of an attempt to disenfranchise voters and call into question the security of our elections,” one county supervisor says in a statement. Adds another, "It’s my understanding that it was malicious, it wasn’t just a kid maybe throwing a match in a box. It was some serious vandalism ... they were determined to really destroy ballots." (Read more Election 2020 stories.)

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