In this age of evolving technology, many community associations are finding they can streamline the voting process and get more owner participation through electronic voting. Betsy Barbieux and Suzanne Lynn talk with Cathi Sleight from Vote HOA Now, one of our leading educational electronic voting experts, about how the process works and how to implement for your association.
Whether you live in a condo, co-op, or HOA, board elections are a complicated process, especially when it comes to voting and counting ballots. Yet electing (or re-electing) a board is probably one of the most important exercises the residents of a co-op or condo building can engage in on behalf of their community. After all, board members are the ones who make the crucial decisions about how their building is run – from maintenance schedules to major capital improvements.
In a recent case (Wu v. PSCC 826, 2018 ONSC 2027), a condominium unit owner commenced legal proceedings against the condominium corporation over concerns about board election irregularities and proxy improprieties.
Increasing homeowners association members’ participation in elections is a constant challenge for HOA officials. Homeowners association officials have tried experimenting with different incentives.....
To combat low attendance, some community associations are using raffles, or offering prizes--drawing names from returned ballots at the annual meeting, or combining the meeting with a cookout or other social event.
Voting online is a huge time-saver for HOA residents and officials. Although residents want to be a part of their HOA election process, it can be very time-consuming to review all of the amendments, issues and candidates on every ballot. Every homeowner needs to have time to review any and all election communications and voting instructions.
As many owners in mountain communities don't live in their units year round, boards of mountain communities rely on electronic communication to increase participation by non-resident board members as well as owners.
Empowering homeowners to vote on HOA issues and candidates is one way to affect change in a homeowners association. However, there are occasionally issues during HOA elections, and the voting process can be time-consuming for residents and officials.
Homeowner associations are designed to be representative democracies governed by a board of directors elected by the members. Electing directors to the board that can thoughtfully govern is extremely important. To accomplish this, elections must be carefully planned, not hatched at the last minute. Here are important components of a successful election process.
C.45:22A-45.2 Executive board elections......
(8) An association shall not prevent voting for an executive board member by electronic
means where the executive board determines to employ voting in such manner and an
association member, or voting-eligible tenant where applicable, consents to casting a vote in
§514B-123 Association meetings; voting; proxies.
... A unit owner may vote by mail or electronic transmission through a duly executed proxy.
§414D-104.5 Action by ballot
(b) A ballot shall:
(1) Be either in written form or in the form of an electronic transmission;
58-4614. Same; unit owner voting procedures. (a) Unless prohibited or limited by the declaration or bylaws, unit owners may vote at a meeting in person, by secret ballot, by absentee ballot pursuant to subsection (b)(4), by a proxy pursuant to subsection (c), or, when a vote is conducted without a meeting, by electronic or paper ballot pursuant to subsection (d).
Sec. 47-252. Voting. Proxies. Ballots. (a) Unless prohibited or limited by the declaration or bylaws, unit owners may vote at a meeting in person, by a proxy pursuant to subsection (c) of this section or, when a vote is conducted without a meeting, by electronic or paper ballot pursuant to subsection (d) of this section.
Except as otherwise provided in the bylaws, the presence or participation, including voting and taking other action, at a meeting of members, or the expression of consent or dissent to corporate action, by a member by conference telephone or other electronic means, including, without limitation, the Internet......
The Washington Nonprofit Corporation Act allows association members to vote by electronic transmission (RCW 24.03.085) if voting in that manner is authorized by the association's bylaws. So if your association allows owners to vote via e-mail, so long as that is authorized by the bylaws, those votes are valid.
(c) If authorized by the statute under which the association is created, and to the extent not limited or prohibited by the articles of incorporation, bylaws, or declaration, the vote on any issue or issues may be taken by electronic means.............,