Getting Out The Vote Door Prizes, Proxy Votes Are Used to Boost Annual Elections

 While the election format in a condominium community is pretty much the same as  for any other club or organization, property managers and board members are  looking to make the process easier and increase unit owner participation. Unit  owner participation, in particular, can be a challenge as some condos find it  hard to get enough members for a quorum at their annual meetings.  

 To combat low attendance, some community associations are using raffles, or  offering prizes –drawing names from returned ballots at the annual meeting, or combining the  meeting with a cookout or other social event. Other communities with low  attendance are trying to increase proxy voting. And the use of online voting is  definitely trending upward as more business is conducted by computer.  

 Are Election Procedures a Turn-Off?

 “Serving on a condo board is voluntary…” and getting owners to participate is often a challenge, states attorneyFrank Flynn of the Boston law firm of Downing & Flynn. He reports that in Massachusetts, the election process is not something  that is legislated by the state; rather, “elections are set forth in the condo docs (rules and regulations).”  

 As a guideline, these rules should address the qualifications of candidates; nominating procedures; campaign procedures; qualifications for voting; the voting time period; the authenticity, validity and effect of proxies; and the methods of selecting election inspectors to handle the ballots. Much of this will be contained in the association’s bylaws.


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  • Our condo in Florida has many out of the state and out of the country owners that NEVER have enough time to return voting documents due to mailing restraints. What remedies are necessary to bypass this US mail problem? Can documents be sent several weeks earlier to out of country owners? Can return ballots be faxed or scaned and emailed, etc. without a board vote to do so? The inhouse owners do not want the out of country owners participating in the election so they use a little mailing time as the Floroida law allows which results in out of country owners not voting. A number of owners have contacted the out of country owners by email and phone, but it is difficult receiving mail out of the country and returning in time for the election. Any advice is appreciated to allow all owners the opportunity to vote by by passing the mailing process?.
  • when a quarum is not reached do you just hold the ballots already cast then keep adding as you get owners to complete a ballot and add them to the total.
  • I thought voting in all respects was a private issue. e-mail is not the way to go. It is obvious, who is voting for who. Totally against our constituional right. It is no one elses business who you or what you are voting for. Don't you think so? In my estimation, it would more likely cause more problems. What say you? problems.
  • Our condo Docs & state law in reference to Affordable units indicates every mentionable instance that the voting % is according to % of ownership, even if they are running for a Trustee position on the Board. The vote is still according to % of ownership, threreby, if others voting have less ownership, it would take more voters than those who have more ownership% to elect one to a Trustee position. Once elected should this voting power remain the as far as % of ownership? Do not feel it should not remain status quo in accordance with all other references in all Documents and State Law. Please advise.
  • What percentage of vote does a Trustee that is voted in have if an affordable owner, who was voted in according to % of ownership have as opposed to a regular owner who is subsidizing affordable owners? Should such Trustee (or Trustees if more than one) is also an Affordable Owner have the power to control our funds and how they are spent, since they only pay just a bit more than half of regular owners for condo fees, assessments etc. It seems they care less than regular owners s they end up benefitting for less. Irate RegularOwner, not fair.
  • My condominium of 200 units in Massachusetts,has an individual manager . We have 45 rentals, and about 30 unoccupied units The unoccupied units are mostly owned by wealthy foreigners who use their units a few weeks a year, or for visiting family members. The manager solicits the votes of these absentee owners, and votes the proxies when they are sen back to him signed, with no proxy designee or votes. No one other than these owners have seen the letter they receive from the manager. Is this process appropriate? Are managers and non owners (the managers assistant or owners he's friendly with) allowed to vote these proxies?
  • Can a Board of Trustees for a large Condo complex in Ma. vote in a new trustee without sending owners ballots to vote on and the names of those running and reason why these people want to run. Please advise.
  • I am a trustee of our condo ass. We are having a vote to change a bylaw. The President of the assoc. is sending out ballot via email that require a signature on the voting document. I told her that it was illegal am I correst.
  • we have had several meetings to reach a Quorum to replace Trustees who have been in place for over 10 years without a quorum and the condos haven't ever been upgraded but the condo fee have been raised from 250 /350 to 350 /450 with the reason we have money problems. We are now being stonewalled by the property management who refuse to accept signed document of all owners to remove and install new trustees. The condo docs states trustees term is 2 years not 10-12 years.. what action can we proceed with at this time?