Election season is approaching in community associations all across the state. We already learned that if the governing docs say “No signs” you can’t put out Trump or Biden signs on your property. But what about the people running for the Board in your own community? Can they at least campaign?
Many associations do a wonderful thing. They hold a “Meet the Candidates Night.” Everyone running for the Board gets to speak to the community for a few minutes. The truth is however, incumbents have it harder on such an evening because the crowd often times interrupts the candidate by yelling about some dumb decisions the candidate previously made while on the board. The newbies have it easier. However, if you have a Meet The Candidates Night by Zoom or some other video conference, everyone can be muted while the candidate speaks. I definitely recommend it and I have hosted several of these previously.
Can the Board send out a letter to the community suggesting how people vote and/or telling everyone why they should vote for the incumbents again?
The Florida Administrative Code states: (for condomimiums)
The second notice and accompanying documents shall not contain any communication by the board that endorses, disapproves, or otherwise comments on any candidate.
In other words – when the ballots gets sent out – no comments by the Board.
But that’s it. That’s the only mention about campaigning in the law. Now obviously, Board members should not be utilizing association resources for their personal elections. They should not be using association letterhead, envelopes and contacting members by accessing their e-mail addresses that the other candidates don’t have access to.
However, no candidate is prohibited from spending their own resources and creating a letter to send to the unit owners telling them why they are the best man or woman for the Board position.
Good luck to all the candidates!