Possible Voter Intimidation at Ballot Drop-Offs Prompts Statement from San Benito County

Conspiracy theories about the 2020 election continue to fuel paranoia and voter intimidation tactics ahead of the November midterm elections.

On Oct. 31, San Benito County issued a press release regarding individuals who have been “standing watch” over ballot drop boxes in the county, ostensibly to prevent voter fraud. 

These individuals are not affiliated with the San Benito County Elections Department, officials said. Furthermore, their actions may violate California Elections Code Section 18540 which “prohibits the tactic of coercion or intimidation, to induce or compel any person to vote or refrain from voting.”

Shasta County issued a similar alert last month regarding a group of “very aggressive” individuals in neon vests who were visiting the homes of some Shasta voters and questioning them about their voter status. And this week, a federal judge ordered armed members to stop monitoring ballot drop boxes in Arizona

Mail-in drop boxes have become a boogeyman for election deniers on the right since the release of the 2020 election conspiracy film 2,000 mules

Anyone with questions about voting in San Benito County can contact the Elections Department at 831.636.4016 or email sbcvote@cosb.us.

This story has been updated.