HOA Election Process
Every HOA has to elect a board of directors which acts as the governing body for the HOA. Homeowners' associations serve roughly 68 million residents across the US alone. They are inherently democratic associations and as such need to organize elections on a regular basis.
Board of Directors
The board of directors act as the leadership within every HOA. They determine what fees are due from what members, they organize repair work, and ensure that common areas are well maintained. They also ensure that the HOA has enough money to cover its costs and also to reinvest into keeping their neighborhood pristine.
Being democratic institutions, if the HOA feels that the board or specific members fail in their duties, they can be replaced in an election. These elections can be surprisingly difficult to manage. Here we walk you through the basics of ensuring you have a legally valid election.
HOA Election Process
1.Establish which positions are open for election
You must first find out exactly which positions on the board are up for election. Most HOAs stagger the lengths of their board of directors terms to ensure that the board is not completely empty at any time.
2. Create the electoral roll
Along with the ballot papers, the electoral roll is the most important document when planning your election. It is a list of all eligible voters, their member numbers, their address and contact details. Add any new homeowners to your list, and delete any who have moved away and are no longer members of your association. Similarly, mark any members who are ineligible to vote clearly - like those who are outside this election catchment area, or who are not in good standing with the HOA (unpaid fees etc.)
3.Announce the election and open nominations
You now need to inform your members about the election and find a pool of candidates that are willing to volunteer for election. Your election rules and bylaws should state how many signatures these volunteers need to be a candidate. They should also be a member of the HOA, in good standing.
With your pool of candidates and the election well publicized, you can then create ballot papers and announce the official dates of the election. We recommend that you inform your members via email as a cheap and environmentally friendly way of communication.
4.Set up the election
Check what your election rules state as to what is needed for a valid election in your HOA. What should ballot papers look like and how should candidates be organized? How should voters be allowed to cast their ballots? Online, by mail or in person at a voting booth or AGM?
Be sure to follow your election rules to the letter. If you fail to follow your own rules and regulations the election results could be overturned and you will have wasted time and effort.
5.Commence the election
Set the election period and begin the election.
6.End the election
Be sure that your election has a clear cut-off point. Once this period is over any votes received or cast must be ignored. Count out the ballots, noting which papers have been spoiled and therefore marked as invalid.
Again, your election rules should state who needs to be present and observing the counting process.
Digitalize your Election Process
Planning even the simplest of elections can be extremely complicated. Your HOA needs to follow its own guidelines and regulations set out in state legislation. All of your hard work could be overturned if you do not follow election procedures to the letter.
We have years of experience dealing with elections of all shapes and sizes. We prefer online voting as it is far more cost effective, faster, more efficient and less prone to errors than in-person voting or postal elections. We can, however, help you organize, or organize on your behalf all of your election needs. We also have a full list of features, from a live voting platform to a dedicated nomination tool, all of which have been designed to help smooth the election management process.