Elections are an important piece of an HOA community. They allow the homeowners a chance to decide who they want sitting on the board and running the association. Unfortunately, it’s too easy for elections to go wrong, but these three tips will ensure any HOA election goes smoothly.
Check the Governing Documents
As with any major HOA decision, it’s important to check the governing documents first to make sure the election is following the rules. Some important information in the governing documents includes how much notice the residents should be given and what size quorum is needed to actually hold the election. On top of that, the governing documents should detail how a candidate wins. For example, some HOAs may choose their winners based solely on the fact that they received the most votes. However, other HOAs insist the candidate must also get more than 50 percent of the vote to win.
Ensure There Is a Quorum
The next piece of the puzzle is to ensure enough qualified voters actually show up to the meeting. This means the HOA needs to make the homeowners aware of the vote, and entice them to come. If some people are unable or unwilling to attend, they may have the right to send a proxy, but the proxy must usually be preapproved by the HOA. It’s also important to document the quorum, so anyone who checks the election history sees proof of the quorum and can’t use it to argue the results.
Control Who Is Voting
Last, but definitely not least, the HOA needs to control who is actually voting in the election, and again, it’s important to check the governing documents to see if they state who can vote. In most cases, it’s best to only allow homeowners to vote. For example, if a husband and wife show up to the meeting, but they bring a parent who lives with them, the HOA, in this instance, wouldn’t let all three vote. As the homeowners, the husband or wife would cast one vote for the entire unit. While some HOAs allow anyone who shows up to vote, it really is best to limit votes to homeowners.
Elections are important, but when they go wrong, it can be a huge disaster. These three tips, however, are sure to help any HOA with holding successful elections.
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