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Baldwin Park Ballot Box Damaged By Fire, Officials Investigating As Arson

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An official 2020 election ballot drop box in Boyle Heights. (Chava Sanchez/LAist)
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A fire damaged a vote drop box outside the Baldwin Park Library on Sunday night, according to Los Angeles County officials. The incident is now being investigated as arson.

Ballots were last picked up from the drop box on Saturday morning at 10:10 a.m.

The L.A. County Registrar's office is reviewing the material collected after the fire, to determine whose ballots could have been damaged, and notify those voters.

The office also requested an investigation by local law enforcement. Officials have reported the incident to both the FBI and the attorney general, and are looking to obtain all available footage to determine how the fire started.

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"Tampering with vote by mail drop boxes and ballots is serious criminal offense and we will vigorously seek the prosecution of individuals who engage in such behavior," L.A. County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk Dean Logan said in a statement.

Some officials suspect the fire was a direct attempt to suppress votes.

"The arson of an official ballot drop box by the Baldwin Park Library in the First District has all the signs of an attempt to disenfranchise voters and call into question the security of our elections," L.A. County Supervisor Hilda Solis said in a statement. "Tampering, or attempts to tamper, with our democracy will not be tolerated."

The frequency of ballot pickups at all other boxes in the area is now being increased, and the location of the damaged drop box has been closed.

Voters who dropped their ballot at that that location, and want to confirm it was received (or find out how to vote if it wasn't), can call the L.A. County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk at 562-503-2445, or email vbmdropoff@rrcc.lacounty.gov.

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