Right to Inspect. Associations must make association records available for inspection and copying by members or their designated representative. (Civ. Code §5205(a).)
Association records includes election materials, which are defined as returned ballots, signed voter envelopes, the voter list of names, parcel numbers, and voters to whom ballots were to be sent, proxies, and the candidate registration list. Signed voter envelopes may be inspected but may not be copied. (Civ. Code §5200(c).)
Recounts & Election Challenges. If there is a recount or other challenge to the election process, the inspector or inspectors of elections shall, upon written request, make the ballots available for inspection and review by an association member or the member's authorized representative. Any recount shall be conducted in a manner that preserves the confidentiality of the vote. (Civ. Code §5125.)
Inspection Costs. Since professional inspectors do not work for free, there will be a cost associated with the inspection. The issue of who pays for the inspection is not covered by the Davis-Stirling Act. For guidance, we can turn to California's Election Code. The Code requires the person requesting a recount to deposit monies with the election official to cover the cost. The payment method would be at the discretion of the inspector of elections, not the homeowner.
ASSISTANCE: Associations needing legal assistance can contact us. To stay current with issues affecting community associations, subscribe to the Davis-Stirling Newsletter.