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Numbered Ballots
QUESTION: Our board recently mailed secret ballots to homeowners to vote on a proposal brought to the board by a homeowner. However, we noticed that every ballot was given a number before mailing them. Doesn't the ballot numbering effectively make them no longer secret ballots, since the board may have a list identifying which ballot went to which residence?

ANSWER: The numbering on ballots might be an innocent control mechanism to ensure there are no duplicate ballots so as to prevent ballot box stuffing. This system was used by many management companies prior to the new election requirements in the Davis-Stirling Act. However, since all voting must now be done by secret ballot (Civ. Code §1363.03(e)) there should be NO markings on ballots that could be used to link members to their ballots.

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