Warning as People 'Going Door-To-Door' To Illegally Collect Voting Ballots in Maryland

Voters in Maryland are being reminded never to hand their election ballots to strangers following reports of people "going door-to-door" to illegally collect them.

The Anne Arundel County Board of Elections said in a statement that they have received reports of people trying to collect filled out Presidential General Election Ballots from people's homes claiming they will help turn them in for them.

The board advises that they would never send people to collect ballots and to contact authorities if anyone offers to take theirs.

"The Anne Arundel County Board of Elections would never send anyone, be they an election judge (volunteers), election officials (employees), or voter registration volunteers to go into any neighborhoods to collect or help turn in ballots," a statement said.

"Should anyone come to you and tell you they would be glad to take your ballot to the nearest Official Drop Box please know they are not working for any local board of election offices.

"Do not give a stranger your ballot to turn in for you."

Under Maryland state law, a voter can designate a "duly authorized agent" to collect their absentee ballot if they meet a number of requirements. The agent cannot be a candidate on the ballot, must be older than 18 years of age, and be formally designated in writing and signed by the voter.

Earlier this week, ballot drop boxes were delivered in Anne Arundel County, with officials hoping to have 32 in place by October 17.

David Garreis, who is the Deputy Director at Anne Arundel County Board of Elections, told WMARthat nearly 600 people have already voted by mail in the county, with around half of them using the ballot drop boxes.

"People are finally voting in Maryland. We're finally at showtime," Garreis said.

"And we're expecting to get somewhere in the neighborhood of 150,000 ballots back [by the November election]," he added.

Garreis assured that it is safe to use the boxes, which are secured by padlocks with security cameras and other measures also in place.

"We're very cognizant of the fact a lot of people might be nervous about leaving their ballot in the drop box," Garreis said. "We believe it's the safest way to vote if you're going to vote by mail."

The deadline to request a ballot is on October 20 and must be dropped in a drop box by 8 p.m. on Election Day on November 3.

Anyone who has been asked to hand over their ballot has been asked to contact the Anne Arundel County Board of Election by calling their direct contact number on 410-222-6600.

An official ballot drop box is set up in Los Angeles on September 12, ahead of the November 3 presidential elections. The Anne Arundel County Board of Elections is warning people are unlawfully going door-to-door trying to collect completely filled out Presidential General Election Ballots. CHRIS DELMAS/AFP/Getty