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Election Law Crimes Maryland

Election Law Crimes in Maryland

Election Law Crimes Maryland

With the election approaching, you may wonder: Are there election law crimes in Maryland? Leave it to the Baltimore criminal lawyer Randolph Rice to find all of the things you could do this election season that may land you in jail. We know your parents told you to never talk about politics or religion. But you may want to talk about how your actions in and around elections in Maryland can result in serious jail time.

There is criminal activity one could commit outside of a polling place like disorderly conduct or fail to obey a lawful order. Or in a bar with friends arguing over politics, which is never a good idea. There are actual crimes that pertain to election laws and procedure in Maryland.

What Are Election Law Crimes in Maryland?

In Maryland, the Maryland Election Law articles define the various crimes. Those include:

  • Defacing or removing record;
  • Destruction of voting equipment;
  • Tampering with voting equipment;
  • Removal of destruction of equipment or supplies at a polling place by election officials;
  • Tampering with electronic voting systems;
  • Destroy a certificate of candidacy;
  • Betting or wagering on elections in Maryland;
  • Interfering with elections officials; and
  • Disturbing the peace for an election activity;

Maryland Election Law Crimes

How heading to the polls can land you in jail. If you commit or have alleged to committed any of these crimes in Maryland, you could be facing some serious jail time and a blemish on your record.

What is defacing or removing election records in Maryland?

This law applies to people that are in custody of election records in Maryland which would typically be voting officials or poll workers. The law found in Maryland Election Law Article 16-701 states:

“(a) A person with custody of election records may not willfully and knowingly:
(1) destroy, deface, falsify, remove, or conceal any record related to voting;
(2) make a fraudulent entry or alteration, or permit another person to make a fraudulent entry or alteration, of any record related to voting; or
(3) allow any other person to do the acts prohibited in items (1) and (2) of this subsection.
(b) Any person who does not have custody over election items may not:
(1) do an act prohibited by subsection (a) of this section; or
(2) advise, procure, or abet the commission of an act prohibited by subsection (a) of this section.
(c) This section does not apply to the disposition of obsolete records in the ordinary course of the operation of the State Board or a local board.”

Penalty for Defacing or Removing Election Records in Maryland

The penalty for violating Maryland Election article 16-701, defacing or removing election records, is imprisonment for not less than 1 year nor more than 10 years.

Is Defacing or Removing Election Records in Maryland a felony or misdemeanor?

Defacing or removing records is classified as a felony in Maryland.

What is Destruction of Voting Equipment in Maryland?

Destruction of voting equipment is defined in Maryland Election Law article 16-801. The crime of destruction of voting equipment is:

“(a) A person may not willfully:
(1) conceal, damage, or destroy voting equipment used or intended to be used on the day of election; or
(2) remove voting equipment from the custody of the election judges or other election officials.”

Penalty for Destruction of Voting Equipment in Maryland

The penalty for destruction of voting equipment in Maryland is a fine of not more than $10,000 or imprisonment for not more than 3 years or both.

Is Destruction of voting equipment in Maryland a felony or misdemeanor?

Destruction of voting equipment in Maryland is classified as a felony.

What is Tampering with Voting Equipment in Maryland?

Tampering with voting equipment is defined in Maryland Election Law article 16-802. The law states that:

“(a) A person may not willfully and knowingly:
(1) tamper with, damage, or attempt to damage any voting equipment that is used or will be used in an election; or
(2) prevent or attempt to prevent the correct operation of any voting equipment that is used or will be used on the day of election.
(b) An unauthorized person may not make or have in the person’s possession a key to any voting equipment that is used or will be used on the day of election.”

Penalty for Tamping with Voting Equipment in Maryland

The penalty for tampering with voting equipment in Maryland is a fine of not more than $10,000 or imprisonment for not more than 3 years or both.

Is tampering with voting equipment in Maryland a felony or misdemeanor?

Tampering with voting equipment is classified as a felony in Maryland.

What is Removal or Destruction of Equipment or Supplies?

Removal or destruction of equipment or supplies placed at a polling place in Maryland is defined in Maryland Election Law article 16-803. The crime of removing or destroying equipment or supplies is:

“(a) A person may not remove, deface, or destroy equipment or supplies placed in a polling place by election officials during an election.”

Penalty for Removal or Destruction of Equipment or Supplies

The penalty for removing or destroying equipment or supplies placed in a polling place in Maryland is a fine of not more than $10,000 or imprisonment for not more than 3 years or both.

Is removal or destruction of equipment or supplies in Maryland a felony or misdemeanor?

Removal or destruction of equipment or supplies placed at a polling place is classified as a felony in Maryland.

What is Tampering with Electronic Voting Systems in Maryland?

Tampering with electronic voting systems in Maryland is defined in Maryland Election Law article 16-804. The crime of tampering with an electronic voting system in Maryland is:

“(a) When an electronic voting system is used, a person may not willfully and knowingly:
(1) access the system unless authorized to do so by the appropriate election authority; or
(2) tamper with or alter the hardware, system components, or software utilized by the voting system, for the purpose of affecting the vote count.”

Penalty for Tampering with Electronic Voting Systems in Maryland

The penalty for tampering with electronic voting systems in Maryland is  a fine of not more than $50,000 or imprisonment for not more than 10 years or both.

Is tampering with electronic voting systems in Maryland a felony or misdemeanor?

Tampering with an electronic voting system is classified as a felony in Maryland.

What is Make, Deface or Destroy Certificate of Candidacy in Maryland?

Making, defacing or destroying a certificate of candidacy is defined by Maryland Election Law article 16-901. The statute states:

“(a) A person may not falsely or fraudulently:
(1) make, deface, or destroy a certificate of candidacy or certificate of nomination or any part of the certificate; or
(2) file or suppress a certificate of candidacy or certificate of nomination that has been duly filed.”

Penalty for making, defacing, or destroying a Certificate of Candidacy in Maryland?

The penalty for making, defacing or destroying a certificate of candidacy in Maryland is a fine of not less than $100 nor more than $1,000 or imprisonment for not more than 3 years or both.

Is making, defacing or destroying a certificate of candidacy a felony or misdemeanor in Maryland?

Making, defacing or destroying a certificate of candidacy is classified as a misdemeanor in Maryland.

Wagering or betting on elections in Maryland

What is Wagering or Betting on Elections in Maryland?

Betting or wagering on elections in Maryland is illegal. The crime of wagering or bettering on an election in Maryland is codified in Maryland Election Law article 16-902. The crime of wagering or betting on elections states:

“(a) A person may not make a bet or wager on the outcome of an election held under this article.”

Penalty for wagering on elections in Maryland

The penalty for wagering or betting on elections in Maryland is a fine of not less than $50 nor more than $500 to be paid to the State. In addition to the fine, any deposit of money as a bet or a wager on the outcome of an election shall be forfeited and paid to the governing body of the county where the money is deposited.

Is wagering on elections in Maryland a felony or misdemeanor?

Wagering or betting on elections in Maryland is classified as a misdemeanor in Maryland.

What is Interfering with Elections Officials in Maryland?

Interfering with elections officials in Maryland is defined in Maryland Election Law article 16-205. The law states that:

“(a)(1) A person may not interfere with an election official in the performance of the official duties of the election official.
(2)   A person may not interfere with an individual lawfully present at a polling place or at the canvass of votes.”

Penalty for interfering with election officials in Maryland?

The penalty for interfering with an election official in Maryland is  a fine of not less than $50 nor more than $1,000 or imprisonment for not less than 3 months nor more than 1 year or both.

Is interfering with elections officials a misdemeanor or felony in Maryland?

Interfering with an election official is classified as a misdemeanor in Maryland.

What is Disturbing the Peace During an Election?

Disturbing the peace of an official electoral activity is defined by Maryland Election Law article 16-204. The law prohibits:

“(a) A person may not hinder or impede the conduct of official electoral activities by:
(1) breach of the peace;
(2) disorder; or
(3) violence or threat of violence.”

Penalty for Disturbing the Peace During an Election

The penalty for disturbing the peace during an electoral process is imprisonment for not less than 30 days nor more than 1 year or by a fine of not less than $50 nor more than $1,000 or both.

Is Disturbing the Peace During an Election a felony or misdemeanor?

Disturbing the peace during an electoral process is classified as a misdemeanor in Maryland.

Maryland Election Law Crimes Attorney

Maryland criminal defense attorney Randolph Rice is a seasoned and experienced defense attorney that has defended thousands of individuals in Maryland. If you’ve been charged with an election law crime in Maryland, contact his office at 410.288.2900 or 1.800.470.RICE to schedule a free consultation.

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