- The Washington Times - Monday, August 23, 2021

A California man was reportedly arrested in possession of 300 mail-in votes for the upcoming gubernatorial recall election, along with guns and drugs.

According to reports Monday by Los Angeles news outlets, the unnamed man was arrested last week while sleeping in his car parked at a Torrance 7-Eleven.

“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,” Sgt. Mark Ponegalek of the Torrance Police Department said, according to TV station KABC.

“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.”

KABC reported that police do not know how the man acquired the ballots. He was arrested last week, but he has since been released on his own recognizance.

Sgt. Ponegalek said the ballots “were un-tampered with, unopened.”

They were “primarily from addresses in Lawndale,” he said. “There were some from Compton. 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.”

Citing the Los Angeles County Registrar’s office, KABC reported that the ballots in question were for the Sept. 14 recall election but none had been filled out for return.

“There’s nothing to indicate this was focused on the election,” the county registrar’s office said.

KABC said that voters in the affected areas who haven’t gotten their ballots can contact the registrar’s office and request another.

• Victor Morton can be reached at vmorton@washingtontimes.com.

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