By Steve Large

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — California’s Secretary of State’s office issued a “cease and desist order” Monday demanding the Republican Party remove unofficial private ballot drop boxes they’ve placed throughout the state, labeled “official.”

The Republican Party responded by announcing plans to defy the order, and by threatening to even add more across the state.

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“We’re going to continue our ballot harvesting programs,” California Republican Party spokesperson Hector Barajas said.

CBS13’s Steve Large asked Barajas why the Republican Party labeled their private ballot drop boxes “official” in the first place.

“Would the Republican Party agree that that’s an important distinction? The use of ‘official’ and not using the word ‘official,'” Large said.

“I would contemplate there might be a distinction if we put a ballot box outside here, on the street in the corner but these are boxes that are inside places of businesses,” Barajas said.

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Barajas said the Republican Party will now remove the word “official” from the ballot boxes, but they won’t remove the private ballot drop boxes themselves. He said they may even add more to strategic locations like gun stores and churches across the state to increase their voter turnout.

“Show us within the law, where we should stop,” Barajas said. “Tell us within the law, where we’re breaking the law.”

Casting a ballot in California. A sacred and simple act. Now, these Republican Party ballot drop boxes are creating questions and controversy.

“Misleading voters is wrong,” Secretary of State Padilla said.

“We’ll see you in court,” Barajas said.

The Secretary of State’s office is giving the Republican Party until Thursday to remove the private ballot boxes.

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Meanwhile, the Secretary of State is also asking all voters who submit their ballots by mail to sign up at to track the ballot until it reaches its proper election office.