To avoid ballot tampering, the sealed envelope containing a ballot may be returned to the inspector of elections by mail or by hand-delivery to a location specified by the inspector of election. (Civ. Code §5115(c)(2).)
Third-Party Delivery. There is nothing in the Davis-Stirling Act to prohibit a third party from delivering ballots to the Inspector of Elections. The mode of delivery to the Inspector is unimportant as long as the ballot is delivered without any signs of tampering. To safeguard against ballot tampering, associations should adopt restrictions similar to those used by the state. If voters are unable to return their ballot due to an illness or other physical disability, they may designate another person to return the ballot for them. (Elections Code §3017(a)(2).) The statute specifically limits the acceptable group of eligible persons to family (spouse, child, parent, grandchild, brother, or sister,) or a person residing in that household. The following should be prohibited:
No candidate or representative of a candidate, and no proponent, opponent, or representative of a proponent or opponent, of an initiative, referendum, or recall measure, or of a charter amendment, shall solicit the vote of an absentee voter, or do any electioneering, while in the residence or in the immediate presence of the voter, and during the time he or she knows the absentee voter is voting.
Electioneering. Although owners may solicit proxies, it is improper to solicit ballots, to mark other owners' ballots, or to engage in electioneering when a voter is casting a ballot.
ASSISTANCE: Associations needing legal assistance can contact us. To stay current with issues affecting community associations, subscribe to the Davis-Stirling Newsletter.