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VERIFY: Can you drop off a ballot on someone else's behalf in D.C., Maryland and Virginia?

A viewer from Prince George's County, Maryland asked the Verify team whether she could drop off her elderly neighbor's sealed mail-in ballot.

WASHINGTON — QUESTION:

In D.C., Maryland and Virginia, can someone drop off a ballot on another person's behalf?

ANSWER:

In DC and Maryland, yes. In Virginia, only the voter can handle his/her own ballot; however, the General Assembly is discussing a bill that could change this.

SOURCES:

Donna Duncan- Assistant Deputy Administrator- Maryland State Board of Elections

Alice Miller- Executive Director- DC Board of Elections

Andrea Gaines- Director of Community Relations and Compliance Support- Virginia Department of Elections

Virginia House Bill 5103

Senate Bill 5120

PROCESS:

Broadine Brown, from Temple Hills, Maryland asked us to Verify whether she could drop off her elderly neighbor's sealed mail-in ballot.

So let's Verify, do election rules allow you to drop off a ballot for someone else in the DMV?

Our Verify researchers contacted the DC Board of Elections, Maryland State Board of Elections and Virginia Department of Elections.

The Maryland State Board of Elections confirmed, yes, in the state you can drop off a mail-in ballot on someone else's behalf.

“If a voter has completed the ballot, signed and sealed it, there is no law that would prohibit the voter from allowing another individual to take the signed, sealed ballot to a drop box, a mailbox or to the local election office,” Donna Duncan, Assistant Deputy Administrator for the Maryland state board, said.

Election officials in D.C. confirmed it's also allowed in the District.

Right now, in Virginia, however, only the voter can handle his or her own ballot, Andrea Gaines, a spokesperson for the Virginia Department of Elections confirmed.

Our researchers checked in on the Virginia General Assembly and lawmakers are currently discussing a bill that would authorize ballot drop off locations which could change that.

 

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