We are getting duplicate
ballots from owners who want to change their vote. Some attorneys say the first
ballot received counts and others say the two ballots cancel each other.
first ballot counts. Although California's Election Code allows absentee voters to
retrieve their ballot and cast a new one, no such provision was adopted in
the Davis-Stirling Act. In fact, the opposite was adopted. The Act
specifically provides that once ballots have been received by the Inspector of
Elections, they are irrevocable. (Civ. Code §5120(a)
Therefore, the second ballot does not cancel
the first ballot. If the Inspector allows a second ballot to invalidate the
first, then the first ballot has been "revoked" by the second, contrary to statute. The Inspector of
Elections should instead mark any subsequent ballots as "invalid" and put them
in a separate pile where they remain unopened.
: Associations needing legal assistance can contact us
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