I am not sure why it is happening this year, but to me it seems like there is a lot of turmoil in HOA elections this year. I have heard the following problems and charges in the last few months concerning charges of vote tampering, proxy collecting and improper counting of ballots. I suggest if your association is having any election controversy and if your HOA documents so provide, try following the condominium procedure. For many years Chapter 718 of the Condominium Act sets forth a very clear and concise procedure when it comes to annual elections.
Chapter 718 annual election procedure is the following, summarized:
- First Notice of election and solicitation of candidates, not less than 60 days prior to the election, to all members.
- Any eligible person desiring to be a candidate must give written notice not less than 40 days prior to the election.
- Any candidate desiring the association to distribute a candidate information sheet must furnish this information to the association, not less than 35 days prior to the election.
- The association shall then mail the second notice of election, not less than 14 days and not more than 34 days prior to the election.
- This notice shall contain a ballot, and that ballot when filled out must be placed in a small inner envelope, then that small enclosed envelope is to be placed in an outer envelope.
- The outer envelope must contain the following: Name of Voter, the unit number/address voting. The outer envelope must contain a line for the signature(s) of the voters. This envelope must be signed.
- Both envelopes must be sealed and contain only one ballot. There are no nominations from the floor allowed.
- Upon receipt by the association, no ballot may be rescinded or changed.
- If any ballot does not follow any of the above conditions, the ballot may be disregarded.
- If there are less candidates than there are positions open for the board, there is no election.
This seems like a lengthy and complicated procedure, but it works and it does stop any voting and election problems. Prior to Chapter 718 being changed and following these election procedures, condominiums had the same problems that HOAs now are experiencing. Someday HOAs will have their election procedures upgraded and it will be very similar or identical to what is described above. For the time being, if your documents allow a different procedure, try this election method.