FBI notified of arson investigation after ballot drop box set on fire in Baldwin Park

The Los Angeles County Registrar’s office will be picking up ballots placed in drop boxes daily after a ballot box was set on fire in Baldwin Park, prompting an arson investigation.

"This attack on a county ballot drop box was reprehensible,'' Los Angeles County Supervisor Janice Hahn said about the Sunday night fire. "Burning ballots is not just vandalism, it is an attack on our democracy and on our residents' right to vote. Whoever did this must be found and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law."

Crews responded to the 4100 block of Baldwin Park Boulevard, outside the Baldwin Park Library, around 8:30 p.m. and quickly put out the fire.

Inside the box were some 200 ballots, according to the Mayor of Baldwin Park Manuel Lozano.

"What we do know is that there were 230 pieces," Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk Dean Logan told reporters.

County officials last picked up ballots from the drop box location on Saturday, Oct. 17 at 10:10 a.m., according to the county's registrar's office.

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Arson investigators were on the scene and turned their evidence over to the Baldwin Park Police Department.

No arrests have been made and no suspect has been identified.

Tampering with a ballot drop box could get a perpetrator up to three years in jail and more depending on the number of charges filed. 

The registrar’s office immediately requested an investigation through local law enforcement and has reported the incident both to the FBI and the Attorney General for investigation and to obtain all available footage to determine the cause of the fire.

The registrar’s office is reviewing all material collected and will notify voters whose ballots may have been impacted. Additionally, the damaged drop box location has been closed, officials said.

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Los Angeles County Supervisor Hilda L. Solis said this arson case "calls into question the security of our elections" and "has all the signs of an attempt to disenfranchise voters."

"Tampering, or attempts to tamper, with our democracy will not be tolerated. Rest assured, LA County residents’ voices will be heard when they vote, including in this election," Solis added.

Voters can call the county registrar-recorder/county clerk if they submitted their ballot at the Baldwin Park Library Dropbox to verify their ballot was received and take any remedial measures.

The registrar’s office encourages those who utilized this drop box location after Oct. 17 to call 562-503-2445 or vbmdropoff@rrcc.lacounty.gov for assistance.

FOX 11's Hal Eisner contributed to this report.