7 STEPS TO A SMOOTH ELECTION
Published March 3, 2021
In sunny South
Florida, real estate is owned by many as a second or vacation home.
Many live in another part of the state, country, or even reside a
great deal of time internationally. Regardless of how much time they
spend in their South Florida community, they also have a right to
have their vote counted.
This case Eric
has presented is indeed an interesting read. Two of my takeaways
Not including an
inner envelope does not necessarily disqualify a ballot, and its
exclusion is an expression of a waiver of voting secrecy whether the
voting individual knew it or intended it or not.
Ballots must be
mailed or hand-delivered, but there is not an exclusion as to who
can do the mailing or hand delivery
this entire case, something else should be thought about, what went
so wrong that it had to be escalated to legal process with the
state? And why weren’t precautions taken to avoid this mess?
management perspective, these are the best courses of action to
for residents should be up to date with all contact information,
notices should be sent to all regardless of where they live.
Depending on how many owners the association has in this situation,
you may need a special distributor to process these mail pieces
association website can also be used to distribute the ballot
package through secured login. This will not replace the required
legal notice, but it will increase access to services and avoid
allegations of improper conduct.
association should consider unit owner acknowledgment forms to legal
notices by email. Using the proper email distribution systems, the
association can be left with an audit log of all emails sent,
whether they were opened, etc.
is a reality that all associations should consider. It cannot be
executed on a whim, and prior steps need to be taken to be a
compliant and realistic choice.
election monitor should be considered if there is any hint that the
election will be controversial in any way. The inclusion of this
outside qualified professional adds legitimacy to the process,
avoids conflicts over the voting procedure, and has great “optics”
for all involved.
association’s attorney should be involved every step of the way if
an election will be conducted. The election process should not be
underestimated in any way, and compliance issues can arise. Having a
legal partner put a second pair of eyes on notices, participating in
the meeting, and offering legal expertise is important to have from
Elections do not
have to be difficult if there is diligent preparation, use of the
right tools, and you are partnering with the right management,
election, and legal professionals.