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Subject: How to bring in an outside company to handle voting
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Author Messages
TerriT3
(Connecticut)

Posts:1


10/30/2018 12:33 PM  
Our board has been caught two years in a row cheating during elections. How do we bring in an out side company to handle the voting. They are cheating on the mailin votes
MelissaP1
(Alabama)

Posts:7716


10/30/2018 5:08 PM  
Our accounting office counted our gathered votes. There may be some available independent auditors out there. Call an accounting firm to see if they can offer this service.

Former HOA President
JohnC46
(South Carolina)

Posts:7820


10/30/2018 5:12 PM  
Our MC conducts the election and ballot counting. Proxies are mailed to them.
CathyA3
(Ohio)

Posts:62


10/31/2018 6:21 AM  
After some questionable stuff in my community, we've been having one of the association's lawyers conduct the annual meeting. The cost is modest, the lawyers are personable folks, they discuss any current issues we're having, and they handle the election. This gives homeowners confidence that the board isn't trying to pull any stunts. (By the by, it required my getting elected to the board and a new property management company to make this happen, so be prepared to work for it. The dishonest folks seem to hang on like leaches and not much changes unless you replace them.)
MarkM19
(Texas)

Posts:128


10/31/2018 7:46 AM  
Here is what we did when we detected voter irregularities.
We had envelopes printed with numbers on the outside envelope that your ballot is returned in and this is typically a different color with the return address preprinted. Nothing is noted on the actual ballot. When the ballots were mailed to homeowners the number of the envelope was recorded next to the name of the homeowner. The ballots were to be returned to the Inspector of elections (I would check with people that work at poles during regular elections to find someone) They are usually retired and would love to make a few bucks helping with this type of thing. They have a copy of the spreadsheet and when a ballot is received they check off the name. No ballots are opened until election night in public view. If someone says they lost their ballot then that ballot is cancelled on the spreadsheet, and a new number is assigned to that address. In our case we had board members and a few rouge friends saying they were losing their ballots and casting multiple votes. This also helps when quorum is an issue because you can contact the people that have not voted instead of hassling everyone. In my case the bad guys started losing elections and problem solved.

The inspector of Elections must be voted on in advance. This is a board decision and just requires 3 of 5 members to pass. The cost would be probably less than $100.00 but I am sure this may vary by State.
AugustinD


Posts:1141


10/31/2018 8:24 AM  
TerriT3, are you on the board?

If not, then as a HOA member you can suggest services like the others here propose and also online voting services such as https://www.theinspectorsofelection.com/start.htm . If the present board (whom you allege is corrupt), then the only way to make this happen is a campaign to oust the present board and put in new board members.
LetA
(Nevada)

Posts:526


10/31/2018 11:46 AM  
Posted By TerriT3 on 10/30/2018 12:33 PM
Our board has been caught two years in a row cheating during elections. How do we bring in an out side company to handle the voting. They are cheating on the mailin votes




As an owner, you are allowed to watch the ballots be unsealed and counted.
KerryL1
(California)

Posts:5852


11/03/2018 9:54 PM  
Terri--I won't reply till I know you are interested in these responses, which often are good ones.

But.... what kind of "cheating?" Votes on what topics?? Too vague!!
SueW6
(Michigan)

Posts:325


11/06/2018 2:03 PM  
There could be an election committee who can do this service. The Board can appoint disinterested persons from the membership, plus a few outsiders. Their job is to estabish all the processes for the election and count the votes. This committee should be appointed weeks before the election.

The counting of the ballots is done in a side room. The results are handed to the president, who announces the results of the election.

I like the process for handling mail-in ballots as outlined in an above post.

RoyalP
(South Carolina)

Posts:65


11/10/2018 9:44 AM  
Posted By SueW6 on 11/06/2018 2:03 PM
There could be an election committee who can do this service. The Board can appoint disinterested persons from the membership, plus a few outsiders. Their job is to estabish all the processes for the election and count the votes. This committee should be appointed weeks before the election.

The counting of the ballots is done in a side room. The results are handed to the president, who announces the results of the election.

I like the process for handling mail-in ballots as outlined in an above post.





As the OP is located in Connecticut, why not simply follow Connecticut's not-for-profit corporate law ?

https://www.cga.ct.gov/current/pub/chap_602.htm
KerryL1
(California)

Posts:5852


11/10/2018 11:45 AM  
Right, RoyP. There are differences among states. For example, unlike what Sue wrote, there's no requirement in CA to tabulate the ballots in a "side room." Our aren't tabulated in the meeting room, but in the lobby of our building next to the meeting Room.

In Ca, there are strict election and annual meeting requirements in our civil code, not in corporations codes. But that's where they might be in other states.

Other than numbering the outside envelopes, we do ours about the same as Mark, TX. As a board, we select the 3 inspectors of election from among owners. They may not be co-owners with any candidate or serving director. Our HOA attorney and the COO of our Mgmt. Co. are present and oversee the tabulations often during the process.
JohnC46
(South Carolina)

Posts:7820


11/10/2018 2:06 PM  
Our Ballots are amassed in two ways. They are part of the Proxy our MC sends out along with the notice of the Annual Meeting and these get mailed to the MC. Secondly, ballots are filled out at the Annual Meeting.
As we allow nominations from the floor, any names appearing on the Proxy we send out does not mean they are the final slate of candidates

The MC, the BOD Secretary, and a random owner picked out that night, count the proxies and ballots. In our last two Annual Meetings, we have never had more people run then there were open spots so anyone that ran got on the BOD and we end up convincing an owner or two in attendance to volunteer.


I expect this coming Annual Meeting (April) will be different as the present BOD has done some unpopular things. We cracked down on landscaping violators and we raised the annual dues by 40% ($600 annually to $840). We will have 3 open out of 5 spots on the BOD and I am quite sure we will have candidates especially those that want to overturn the dues increase and some from the landscape violators we cracked down on. As a result of this, I have forewarned the BOD that I expect this election to be heated. We are working to establish a more formal procedure including giving each candidate 5 minutes to present their reasons for running for the BOD.

Personally, I have decided if we get candidates that are not going to rescind the dues increase then I (who supported/voted for the increase) will not re-run. If I see those looking to run support a repeal, then I will run.



MarkM19
(Texas)

Posts:128


11/10/2018 3:38 PM  
John C,

It does not appear to me that you have anything close to the problems yet that some associations have here. Once the Declarant is gone and Proxies are eliminated things may change. I am not a fan of voting from the floor. IMO they have a slim chance if any of getting votes to support based on a 5 minute speech.

I suggest you consider what I implemented my first year I was elected (I was not on the board but suggested it during the comment section at the beginning of a meeting and the existing board liked it and allowed it) We had a "Meet the Candidate Night" a few weeks prior to the election deadline. Candidates were able to give an opening introduction and then get questions from the audience. It was scheduled for 1 hour and most years that was enough to get a good sense of who you are voting for. In some cases is was enough to know who not to vote for which is also a good thing. A quick final comment from each candidate and the meeting ends. Educated voters pick the best board members.


JohnC46
(South Carolina)

Posts:7820


11/11/2018 7:48 AM  
Posted By MarkM19 on 11/10/2018 3:38 PM
John C,

It does not appear to me that you have anything close to the problems yet that some associations have here. Once the Declarant is gone and Proxies are eliminated things may change. I am not a fan of voting from the floor. IMO they have a slim chance if any of getting votes to support based on a 5 minute speech.

I suggest you consider what I implemented my first year I was elected (I was not on the board but suggested it during the comment section at the beginning of a meeting and the existing board liked it and allowed it) We had a "Meet the Candidate Night" a few weeks prior to the election deadline. Candidates were able to give an opening introduction and then get questions from the audience. It was scheduled for 1 hour and most years that was enough to get a good sense of who you are voting for. In some cases is was enough to know who not to vote for which is also a good thing. A quick final comment from each candidate and the meeting ends. Educated voters pick the best board members.






We are lucky to get a Quorum and without Proxies, we would not. A candidates night would be the candidates talking to each other.
MarkM19
(Texas)

Posts:128


11/11/2018 8:08 AM  
John,
It is also a good time for the existing board members to see how the candidates handle "Live Fire" from the people that do take the time to come. All you can do is invite them and give them the opportunity.


Existing board members are very important to election results. I always thought that if the board members told their friends and then those friends told others it can definitely influence the votes in positive ways legally. Board members are picking teammates for the next 2 years. They should be watching much closer than the average homeowner.
JohnC46
(South Carolina)

Posts:7820


11/11/2018 2:48 PM  
Our HOA has run very smoothly. We have not had a dues increase in 6 years and we run a balanced budget. Some might say our owners are apathetic. I say they are content.

I expect this years election to be a bit more contentious due to the 40% dues increase. I believe there will be those running with the intent of overturning it. For those wondering why 40%, it is to be ready for roof replacements which the HOA must pay for commencing in 2017.

We will have a litmus test. We must submit the dues increase and a Proposed 2019 Budget to all owners on or before 12/01. It will be US mailed to each owner on or before 11/16. The owners can call a Special Meeting on or before 12/31 and if they get 51% of all owners (not just 51% of those at the Special Meeting but 51% of all owners) to vote it down, we will have to operate 2019 under the existing 2018 budget. If no meeting or less than 51% say no, the 2019 Budget and dues increase happens on 01/01/2019. We expect any call for a Special Meeting to fail and if a vote, we most certainly expect it to fail. I expect we will have to face the music at the Annual Meeting in April.

I understand the Candidates Night but I am not going to propose such an idea. That said, I would not stand in the way if owners want such.


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