Someone set an official ballot drop box outside a California library ablaze Sunday night by shoving a burning newspaper inside, Los Angeles firefighters say.

The fire broke out inside an official ballot box outside the Baldwin Park Library at 8 p.m., KABC reported.

Firefighters doused the blaze by pushing a firehose into the collection slot, then cut the box open with a chainsaw to retrieve the burned ballots, KCBS reported.

It’s not clear how many ballots were damaged or destroyed, KNBC reported.

Police took custody of the damaged ballots, KABC reported. The case is being investigated as an arson fire.

The collection box outside the library was an official drop box for ballots in the hotly contested November election, which pits President Donald Trump against Democratic challenger Joe Biden, among other races.

Unofficial ballot drop boxes, many set up by the state Republican Party, have also appeared across California, The Sacramento Bee reported.

State officials had declared the boxes illegal, which GOP officials had disputed, but the party has apparently curtailed use of the unofficial drop boxes, according to the publication. State officials on Friday said they were seeking more information.

Early voting has broken records across the United States.

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Don Sweeney has been a newspaper reporter and editor in California for more than 25 years. He has been a real-time reporter based at The Sacramento Bee since 2016.

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