Torrance police are investigating the discovery of hundreds of recall election ballots in a vehicle where a felon was found passed out with drugs, a loaded firearm and multiple driver’s licenses one week ago, authorities said Monday.
Approximately 300 ballots were recovered from the vehicle, which was parked in the lot of a 7-Eleven convenience store on the night of Aug. 16, according to the Torrance Police Department.
Officers also discovered a loaded firearm, methamphetamine, thousands of pieces of mail, a scale, and multiple California drivers licenses and credit cards that were in other people’s names, a police news release stated. Xanax pills were also located on the unidentified male subject, who authorities described as a felon.
He was arrested on suspicion of a number of offenses, including weapons violations, narcotics and forgery violations.
Providing an update on the case Monday, police said the department’s Special Investigations Division has partnered with the U.S. Postal Service and the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Offices Public Integrity Unit to look into the matter.
“Investigators are trying to figure out how the election ballots ended up in the suspect’s vehicle and what their intent was in having them,” police officials said in a statement. “This is an isolated incident and is not related to any additional thefts of election ballots.”
No further details about the incident have been released.
The discovery came the same day that absentee ballots were mailed out to registered California voters for the upcoming Sept. 14 recall election of Gov. Gavin Newsom.
Any voter whose ballot was determined to have been taken in the theft will get a new one prior to the election, according to police.
They reminded community members to report any suspicious election activity by calling 310-328-3456.