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Subject: successful process for mail-in ballots
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Author Messages
JayF1
(Washington)

Posts:51


02/12/2018 8:55 AM  
Hi everyone. I like to get an insight how others are dealing with mail-in ballots. Over the past, our previous board never used them. I suspect it would be impossible to reach 67% membership approval for any amendments changes. It sure appears like that but I sure other board must address big-ticket items and outdated governing docs. I would like to know any successful procedures or recommendations to break such a barrier. Any advice would greatly appreciate it.
JohnC46
(South Carolina)

Posts:7191


02/12/2018 11:24 AM  
Jay

Can you use mail-in ballots?

Proxies can serve a similar purpose. Many BOD's send out a proxy saying it counts toward Quorum and naming the BOD as the proxy older/voter. Read up on proxies.
KerryL1
(California)

Posts:4791


02/12/2018 12:47 PM  
Jay, the first thing is to learn: is it legal for your HOA to use mail-in ballots?? You'll find this in your bylaws or in WA statutes.

If legal, there undoubtedly is a procedure you must use which would be in writing somewhere.

If legal, owners just mail the ballot to a specified place. But with all you seem to have on your plate, it seems to me that amending your bylaws or CC&Rs cannot be a priority.
CarolF
(Florida)

Posts:381


02/12/2018 1:29 PM  
Jay - do you use mail-in ballots for you annual election?
BillH10
(Texas)

Posts:191


02/12/2018 1:35 PM  
We used mail in ballots/proxies with a client HOA which had not attained a quorum in a number of years. Mail in ballots and proxies are permitted in the association documents and by the state. Even so, we never attained a quorum until we implemented a very simple step: we placed a stamped self-addressed return envelope in the package.

We certainly did not get to 67% although we came close once or twice. However, we did meet the quorum requirement every time. When we began using electronic voting, it ratcheted the response the response up to 60%.
BillH10
(Texas)

Posts:191


02/12/2018 1:52 PM  
We managed an association which never met the quorum requirements for the Annual Meeting. One year as an experiment we convinced the Board to let us include a stamped, self addressed envelope to encourage the return of the ballot or proxy form (the documents and the state permit mail in ballots and/or proxy. This incurred additional expense of course.

We went immediately from not attaining a quorum to significantly more than was needed. That same year we also implemented an e-mail reminder process. I cannot say which was the more effective and it really does not matter. The goal of attaining the quorum was reached.
BillH10
(Texas)

Posts:191


02/12/2018 1:53 PM  
Duplicate post, my apologies
BillH10
(Texas)

Posts:191


02/12/2018 1:53 PM  
Duplicate post, my apologies
JayF1
(Washington)

Posts:51


02/13/2018 1:32 PM  
Thanks all. There is not stated in our bylaws or CCRs regarding Ballots. Bylaws only state proxies. I would assume they are the same. Please correct me if I am wrong.

Bylaws: Proxies-At all meetings of members, each member may vote in person or by proxy. All proxies shall be in writing and filed with the secretary. Every proxy shall be revocable and shall automatically cease upon conveyance by the member of his residential lot.

That is the goal. So new to this, working on quorums, budget ratification, and then the big ticket items bylaw & CCR amendments. They are outdated (16 years old). Unfortunately, the past previous boards that served the past 16 years did not follow the formalities on what most are stating here. It was very informal, no robert rules, no formal agenda, and proxies were just mailed and no follow up on them. I am totally learning a lot from all you great people and thank you so much for sharing your experience with us newbies.

So back to the proxies. My action plan is to drop ballots with prepaid mailing envelop with their name and address, and proper ballot stating what needs to be voted. All the homeowner has to do is mail back the ballot with their signature with prepaid envelop. Any confirmation on this?
KerryL1
(California)

Posts:4791


02/13/2018 3:44 PM  
I should have made it clear, Jay, that proxys & mail-in ballots are NOT the same thing. Some states like CA permit mail-in ballots that the Owners fill out themselves. Owners do the actual voting. Because of that, no owner votes by proxy anymore in my HOA.

I've never used a proxy and we don't get them in the mail with our ballots, so someone else will have to explain them to you. Basically, owners let someone else vote for them.

Even if your bylaws don't permit mail-in ballots, WA law might.

TimB4
(Virginia)

Posts:15245


02/13/2018 3:47 PM  
Posted By JayF1 on 02/12/2018 8:55 AM
I would like to know any successful procedures or recommendations to break such a barrier. Any advice would greatly appreciate it.




First, check your governing documents and applicable laws to see if mail in ballots are allowed. Some States do not allow them for HOAs.


KerryL1
(California)

Posts:4791


02/13/2018 4:03 PM  
Right, tim, I advised Jay the same thing on the 3nd post on this topic, but......?????
JayF1
(Washington)

Posts:51


02/14/2018 12:04 AM  
thanks for the correction. this is all new to me. Kerry can you be more specific regarding what the homeowners fill out when they do the actual voting? I am assuming election board members or can this be anything like amendment changes to CCR. etc. If yes, then must be advance agenda on what needs to be voted beforehand or prefilled form options with the owners will just fill in. I never saw one before. This sounds like a valid solution to pursue.

I'll check with WA state laws if this is permitted. There is nothing stated in our governing docs in regards to ballots, just proxies. That would be an ideal way to go instead of moving a motion and doing discussion for big-ticket items that need to be repaired etc. Any take here.
JohnC46
(South Carolina)

Posts:7191


02/14/2018 4:26 AM  
Jay

Be somewhat cautious about some of the replies, mine included, as they may be the way to do it in the state the poster lives in but in some other states it may not be allowed.

An example is (I believe), some states call for a secret ballot thus eliminating the use of a proxy.

In some states a BOD does not have to notify its members the BOD is meeting.

In some states BOD business can be done vial Email, phone, carrier pigeon, pony express, etc.
RichardP13
(California)

Posts:2346


02/14/2018 5:38 AM  
Here is a document that you in running your HOA.

http://www.condolaw.net/uploads/-_2015_Handbook_for_Community_Associations_FINAL_9.16.15.PDF

IMHO, you need to seriously considering hiring "professionals" to help guide your community until you have a better grasp of the governance of an HOA.
KerryL1
(California)

Posts:4791


02/14/2018 8:43 AM  
I completely agree with Richard, Jay. While I applaud your constant questions, It seems your'e becoming more confused.
JayF1
(Washington)

Posts:51


02/15/2018 9:12 PM  
thanks kerry, richard and john. I will consider your advice.

wow richard, that was a great link. they had a lot good subjects and best part, referencing wa state & federal laws. I really appreciate it.
JayF1
(Washington)

Posts:51


02/15/2018 9:15 PM  
finally took some time in regards to mail-in ballots. mail-in ballots sound like a real idea to pursue. just need to know if this legal. Ballots are not stated in our governing docs.

Any WA hoas out there using mail-in Ballots??? Please confirm. Thanks.
TimB4
(Virginia)

Posts:15245


02/16/2018 4:16 AM  
Jay,

It won't matter what other Associations are doing regarding mail-in ballots.
What your governing documents and applicable statutes specify are the only thing that matters.


In lieu of a mail in ballot, you might want to try directed proxies. A directed proxy, similar to a general proxy, allows the member to identify someone to vote on their behalf at the general membership meeting but also directs the individual representing them to cast the vote a specific way.

General note: If you aren't getting proxies, you likely won't get mail-in ballots.
JayF1
(Washington)

Posts:51


02/16/2018 11:12 PM  
thanks, Tim. I certainly wish I had your experience. Unfortunately for the past 16 years, our previous Boards never used the proxies properly or even bother mailed them out. Now it is my responsibility, and that's is why I am trying to get my head around this and my intention is to use this option to my advantage. this thread is getting to low. I really need to understand this. I will start a new thread so it is not confusion and we all can start on a new plate.

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