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(a)(2).)
There is nothing in the Davis-Stirling Act to prohibit a third party from delivering ballots to the Inspector of Elections. Depending on the level of security associations want to establish for the handling of ballots, they have two options:
Allow 3rd Party Collection. As long as the envelopes with the ballots are sealed and signed, they can allow the ballots to be delivered by others 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.
- Prohibit Delivery. If an association wants to safeguard against potential tampering of ballots, it could 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.) 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.
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