Published November 11, 2020
An election can be an excellent opportunity to showcase how things
are done in a professional manner with fairness, transparency, and
competent understanding and execution of the procedures. Besides
understanding the legal requirements, there are administrative and
logistical preparations to establish a level of trust and confidence
in the election process. Let's review a few of these…
The association should have an updated record of its resident
roster, an actual copy of the mailed notice, and a signed and
notarized affidavit of mailing proving the notices were placed in
the mail within the required timeframe. This basic administrative
requirement can sometimes present challenges at even the most basic
and least controversial elections.
Upon receiving any candidate forms, the association should properly
screen the candidates for applicable candidacy requirements
established in its bylaws and state statutes. This may include
ownership, assessment balances, and other issues like term
limitations that will need to be settled and quickly communicated to
the candidates and the existing board of directors.
Every association should record a formal written legal opinion from
its attorney on the eligibility requirements and procedure
applicable to the association from a review of its governing
documents and applicable state statute. Moreover, the association
attorney should be present at the election to moderate the meeting
and provide professional interpretations of the election process as
issues may arise during the meeting.
Suppose the election is expected to be controversial. In that case,
the current board can work with fellow unit owners to petition a
state certified election monitor to be present and assist in the
election process. This will also establish a great deal of
confidence and trust in the election process.
If the community is large and participation is expected to be high,
provide enough registration time before the actual election meeting.
Registration should include verification of ownership, review of
proxies, and issuing controlled ballot forms.
A separate table and independent group of individuals should be set
up ahead of time for the redundant review of the ballots, tallying
the votes, and reporting the results to the attorney and/or election
This is sometimes a tense process, and everyone should work to
maintain civility. Emotions should be kept in check, and the board
should allow the professionals to execute the election procedure in
a way that will instill professionalism.