On August 16, California authorities discovered 300 unopened vote-by-mail California recall election ballots, illegal drugs, and a gun inside a sleeping man’s vehicle.
The Torrance Police Department answered a call about a man sleeping in his car located at the local 7-Eleven parking lot. On arrival, police found Xanax, methamphetamine, a handgun, special election ballots, and driver’s licenses and credit cards not belonging to the suspect, according to Mark Ponegalek of the Torrance Police Department.
“Inside the vehicle, the officers found a loaded handgun, some narcotics, and then they found a bunch of mail and what turned out to be over 300 election ballots in the backseat of the vehicle,” Ponegalek said. “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.”
It is unclear how the suspect obtained the missing ballots or what his motive was for keeping them in his car.
The ballots had been mailed to residents in California in preparation for the September recall special election of the state’s Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom, according to the Los Angeles County Registrar’s office.
Police report the ballots were unopened and primarily addressed to residents in Lawndale and Compton. The county registrar’s office commented that they do not believe the ballots were taken in an effort to interfere with the election.
“There’s nothing to indicate this was focused on the election,” the officer said.
The police department is currently in the process of submitting all the names included on the discovered ballots to the registrar’s office in order for new ballots to be mailed to the voters.