STAYING WITH ELECTIONS

While the nation’s election may be over, the elections in your community associations are just about ready to get started. So, here are some things to know……

In a condo, you don’t need a quorum of owners in attendance at the annual meeting in order to have the election. As long as 20% of the eligible voters actually cast a ballot – you have an election.

 

In a condo, unlike in an HOA, you cannot vote for members of the Board by proxy.
In a condo, if your bylaws don’t say the exact number of board members, but instead allow for a range, such as “not less than three, but not more than 7” the number of directors is automatically 5.

In a condo, the ballots are supposed to be returned in an envelope marked “Ballot Only”. Suppose the ballot is returned only in the larger outer envelope, but not the smaller inner one. Does it still count? Absolutely it does.
Finally, suppose you are verifying the signatures on the exterior envelopes, and you don’t believe that the signature on the envelope is the genuine signature of the real owner? Can you disregard it? Absolutely not. Unless a handwriting expert says it’s a fake, or you have an affidavit from the owner saying “that’s not my signature” the vote must be counted.

Know in advance whether or not your community association requires voting certificates. A voting certificate is a document signed by all owners of a property designating one of them as the person authorized to vote. Some associations require them, some do not. Some require them even for husbands and wives and some do not. Some only require them for units owned by a corporation.

Can someone with a power of attorney vote in a condo election? No. Arbitrators have held that this would be similar to allowing proxy voting which the statute expressly forbids.

Good luck with your elections. And if you’re not sure about something, ask your attorney. It’s a lot better than having to go through the election process twice.

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