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Subject: Election fraud?
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Author Messages
RickN
(Florida)

Posts:27


09/12/2007 3:35 PM  
Recently, our manager was fired. Shortly thereafter, she started to "fess up" on how last year's election was rigged, and that the current Board members do not belong there. Rumors are that extra ballots were cast to swing the election. My question, is there any agency (government or elsewhere) that can monitor the elections to prevent that another election be stolen? We are under FS 720.
RogerB
(Colorado)

Posts:4888


09/12/2007 4:55 PM  
Rick, you can request a talley committee consisting of at least 3 members be established to collect ballots, count them, and announce the winners.
NancyD1
(Florida)

Posts:447


09/12/2007 5:07 PM  
Could this just be sour grapes? There is no govt agency that will oversee your elections. FL 720 has no provisions for rigged elections. This should be done internally. You should have a procedure for elections in your By-Laws.

We have a group of HO for our election committee. They oversee and count the votes. The present BOD is asked for 5 nominees from each board member. Our PM sends out invitations that they were chosen to be on this committee. Not all participate. Then a formal meeting is held by them, they chose a chair and vice chair. The chair only certifies the election results. The BOD then ratifies them.
MicheleD
(Kentucky)

Posts:4491


09/12/2007 6:48 PM  
Nancy, it may be "sour grapes"that she actually reported it, but it's still very likely that it happened.

Which is, to me, yet another reason to always do things above-board. You can never ever be sure that the person you're conspiring with will keep their mouth shut! LOL (that was a joke, I would never seriously consider any type of fraudulent activity such as that.)
NancyD1
(Florida)

Posts:447


09/12/2007 7:12 PM  
Rick, you can report this to the DBPR. You may not want to open that can of worms though. If the state steps in, I hope that your HOA is very wealthy. It costs an average of $300-500 PER DAY for FL to run a HOA. The DBR can revoke a 501c status, if the HOA is filing under this.

Do you still have the ballots from last year. Appoint several independent HO to count the ballots. If the manager was correct, the election was falsified, your HOA will have to make some decisions. If it was sour grapes, chalk it up, but remember what can happen in the next election.
RickN
(Florida)

Posts:27


09/13/2007 3:15 PM  
Well, if you were there to see this lady cry as she was telling her story, I don't think you would say "sour grapes". Yes, she felt betrayed, but it exposes a serious problem with our election process. If a manager felt that his/her job depended on who gets elected, who's to keep "someone" from dumping extra ballots in the box. How do we verify that the votes cast were from legitimate homeowners? And if the manager and a Board member (in this case, the President) conspire to do this, 1)how do you prevent it? and 2)how do you prove fraud afterwards? It's sad to say, but some people here do not truly believe in the democratic process as we know it.
Thanks for responding to my post
RickN
RickN
(Florida)

Posts:27


09/13/2007 3:18 PM  
Thanks Roger for responding to my post.
What if a manager felt that his/her job depended on who gets elected? How do we keep "someone" from dumping extra ballots in the box. How do we verify that the votes cast were from legitimate homeowners? And if the manager and a Board member (in this case, the President) conspire to do this, 1)how do you prevent it? and 2)how do you prove fraud afterwards? It's sad to say, but some people here do not truly believe in the democratic process as we know it.
RickN
RickN
(Florida)

Posts:27


09/13/2007 3:20 PM  
Well, if you were there to see this lady cry as she was telling her story, I don't think you would say "sour grapes". Yes, she felt betrayed, but it exposes a serious problem with our election process. If a manager felt that his/her job depended on who gets elected, who's to keep "someone" from dumping extra ballots in the box. How do we verify that the votes cast were from legitimate homeowners? And if the manager and a Board member (in this case, the President) conspire to do this, 1)how do you prevent it? and 2)how do you prove fraud afterwards? It's sad to say, but some people here do not truly believe in the democratic process as we know it.
Thanks for responding to my post
RickN
RickN
(Florida)

Posts:27


09/13/2007 3:21 PM  
My apologies Michele, my previous response went to the wrong person. I meant to send it to Nancy
DaneC
(California)

Posts:210


09/13/2007 3:47 PM  
NancyD1
You lost me on the part about 501c - I was under the impression that it was practically impossible to obtain exemption under that code, and that HOA's were under IRC528.


NancyD1
(Florida)

Posts:447


09/13/2007 5:39 PM  
Dane, most of the recent HOA's in Florida are under a 501c(4) status. Our CPA handles 49 HOA's and there is only one that is not a 501c.

They are similar in that they both pertain to HOA's. The 501c(4) is harder to obtain than a IRC528. To qualify for 501 the HOA has to maintain sidewalks and green space, membership is compulsory, operates and enforces covenants for preserving the architecture, the association is supported by contributions by the members, maintains the exteriors of homes etc. 528 has a lot more leeway for the HOA, but the bene's rock for a 501c.

Rick, you can prevent this from happening again by not having the BOD associated with anything to do with the election process. The BOD members do not have any contact but placing their votes in a box. A variety of HO should oversee the process not the BOD or the property manager. The boxes are never left unattended for the day. The actual count is supervised by the whole election committee.
RickN
(Florida)

Posts:27


09/13/2007 5:57 PM  
If you are referring to an election committee, according to our docs, these individuals must be appointed by the BOD (and since the President might be a part of this conspiracy, such a move may not help). If I were to solicit volunteers to monitor the ballot box, I'm sure the BOD will object to this (they may think the volunteers will tamper with the results). Its between a rock and a hard spot. From my perspective, we need a 3rd neutral party to monitor, but apparently under FS 720, there are no provisions for this either. Since it appears there are no apparent real solutions, my only option is to contest the election afterwards. By then, the damage will already be done.
Thanks anyway for responding to my post
RickN
NancyD1
(Florida)

Posts:447


09/13/2007 6:04 PM  
Posted By RickN on 09/13/2007 5:57 PM
If you are referring to an election committee, according to our docs, these individuals must be appointed by the BOD (and since the President might be a part of this conspiracy, such a move may not help). If I were to solicit volunteers to monitor the ballot box, I'm sure the BOD will object to this (they may think the volunteers will tamper with the results). Its between a rock and a hard spot. From my perspective, we need a 3rd neutral party to monitor, but apparently under FS 720, there are no provisions for this either. Since it appears there are no apparent real solutions, my only option is to contest the election afterwards. By then, the damage will already be done.
Thanks anyway for responding to my post
RickN




Rick, even if the board appoints the election committee, they all can't be bad apples. There are still people that have morals. You can oversee the election. If you are a member you have every right to be in the room and watch everything that happens.
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