Police Say Somebody Intentionally Started A Fire In A California Ballot Box


Authorities in Baldwin Park, California, are looking for a suspect who started a fire inside of a ballot drop off box. Investigators said that somebody tossed a lit piece of newspaper into the ballot box, which was sitting outside of the Baldwin Park Library.

George Silva was biking by the flaming ballot box just as firefighters arrived.

"You could see heavy clouds of smoke coming out of the ballot box," Silva told the Los Angeles Times. "It looked like a chimney."

Firefighters had to squeeze a firehouse down the box's opening to extinguish the flames and then used a power saw to cut open the box.

Officials removed the damaged ballots and brought them to the Los Angeles County registrar-recorder's office. They did not say how many ballots were destroyed or if any of them had been salvaged.

Mayor Manuel Lozano told KABC that he believes there were about 100 ballots in the box.

"People are frustrated across the country, it's no different in Baldwin Park," Lozano said. "The incident that happened...does send a very bad message, as it is, the frustration with the voting box and then this occurs."

Voters who dropped off their ballot in the box in front of the library can use the county's official ballot tracker to ensure their vote was counted. Officials have not said what voters will have to do if their ballot was destroyed in the fire.

Photo: Getty Images