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HOA Election Process
One of the many mandates in each HOAs governing documents is the requirement to have a yearly annual meeting of the owners. It is usually at this meeting that HOA members elect the board of directors for the upcoming year. This duly elected board becomes the governing body for the entire HOA so having a fair and impartial election where all owners votes count is of utmost importance. Considering the number of HOAs across the US is growing (over 50% of the households in US are now in an HOA), it’s important that the HOA board election process be clear and concise.
Tips for a Successful HOA Election
Check your state statutes for specific requirements for HOA board elections.Some items to look for include when the meeting notice needs to be sent (how many days before the meeting), if the notices must be mailed or if they can be emailed, if the vote has a secret requirement, if a proxy is required, etc.
Check your HOAs governing documents. Check both your CC&Rs and Bylaws. Look for meeting date and timing requirements, the terms of the positions, ballot secrecy, quorum requirements, if votes can be changed after submitted, is there an owner date of record of those that are eligible to vote, and if past due owners can vote, etc.
Make a list of all the HOA election details. Once you know your requirements make a list of all the details and keep it in an annual meeting folder so you can refer to it each year. You may even want to keep the pages of your governing docs with the specific sections highlighted that show the requirements in this folder. Your list should include the number of homes, quorum requirement, how many ballots are required for quorum, how many directors are elected each year and the length of the terms, etc. Be sure to include the location of the meeting and your contact person.
Create a timeline of when each item needs to be completed. Advance planning of the timing will keep you on track to have a successful HOA board election. Be sure to list all the dates: when to send the call for candidates, when the candidate intents must be received by, when the notice must go out, when the ballots must go out, when the ballots must be returned by, etc.
The goal in creating the HOA Annual Meeting Folder and Timeline is to ensure all requirements are met and the process is followed correctly each year. Failing to follow the process could result in an election being deemed invalid and needing to be redone, costing the association both time and money.
How to Add Electronic Voting to the Mix
If electronic voting is permitted by your state’s statute it is very easy to incorporate this into your HOA election process and offer owners another option for having their vote count. Start by having the board adopt a resolution to add electronic voting as a method to accept ballots. Next, work with a company that offers the type of voting service you need. It is recommended that HOAs work with an electronic (or online) voting company that is specific to the HOA industry as they understand the complexities of how HOAs operate. Also, it is important to look for is a company that offers full-service management, not just a portal. A full-service voting company has the expertise to focus on your HOA election to make sure you reach quorum, while relieving some of the workload from the manager or election committee and providing third-party separation.
What Our Clients Say!
It was the only Annual meeting I had this season that I walked into the meeting having quorum.