Friday, March 03, 2006

New Rules for HOA Elections ( Part 2)

If you live in a large condominium complex you need to know about the new rules.


This is the second installment about the new election laws. I strongly urge boards of directors to start the process of drafting election rules. Starting July 1, 2006, all elections will now require "inspectors of election" who must be selected in advance of the election and who must carry out various election duties before and during the election.

Pre-Selection Requirements. Because the statute mandates that inspectors of election receive and count ballots, associations must select either 1 or 3 inspectors (Civ. §1363.03(c)(1)) early enough in the election process so that ballots can be mailed to the inspectors or to a location designated by the inspectors (Civ. §1363.03(h)). However, before inspectors can be appointed, the board must adopt election rules that specify a method for selecting the inspectors.

Method of Selection. Associations may use one of the following methods for selecting their inspectors (Civ. §1363.03(a)(5)):

Appointment by the board

Election by the membership [This may be a more democratic approach but it may also be unwieldy and costly since it requires (i) the administrative task of recruiting multiple persons or companies willing to compete for the privilege of overseeing the election and (ii) the cost of holding an extra election, i.e., the election of inspectors prior to the election of directors. Also, are associations required to use the new election procedures and select inspectors to count the ballots for the election of the inspectors?]

Any other method for selecting the inspector or inspectors.

The method of selection needs to be in the election rules, which must be sent to the membership for review and comment 30 days in advance of their adoption by the board.

Candidates for Inspectors. Candidates for inspectors may include (Civ. §1363.03(c)(2)) the following:

a volunteer poll worker with the county registrar of voters;

a licensee of the California Board of Accountancy;

a notary public;

a member of the association who is not a member of the board of directors or a candidate for the board of directors or related to a member of the board of directors or a candidate for the board of director; or

a person who is currently employed or under contract to the association, but only if expressly authorized by properly enacted election rules.

In subsequent newsletters, I will discuss the requirements for secret ballots, campaign guidelines, insurance, and the use of association funds for electioneering.

To read FAQ's concerning new laws go toFAQ's

Very truly yours,

Adrian J. Adams, Esq.
Adams & Kessler llp

Adrian Adams can be contacted through

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