Acclamation-Uncontested Elections for Board Members
If the number of nominees for election to the board of directors of a homeowner association is equal to or less than the member of positions available, the election is considered uncontested only if the association bylaws and election rules prohibit write-in candidates and nominations from the floor. Even if the odds of having a write-in candidate or person nominated from the floor, being elected is less than one - percent, an election must be held. Otherwise, the board can be accused of denying a member of his or her rights.
If an election is truly uncontested, balloting can be waived, and the nominees elected by acclamation subject to AB 502 that went to effect on January 1, 2022.
Unfortunately, in order to utilize the acclamation process, the association is required to meet additional pre-ballot notice requirements.
First, elections by acclamation can only be declared if the association has held a regular director election at least once in the past three years. This means associations can only have elections decided by acclamation two out of every three years.
In addition, the association must provide additional notices to the membership for the acclamation option to be utilized. The notice of the election and the procedure for nominating candidates must now be provided least ninety (90) days before the nomination deadline, and must include:
- The number of board positions that will be filled at the election,
- The deadline for submitting nominations,
- The manner in which nominations can be submitted, and
- A statement informing members that the board may, after voting to do so, seat the qualified candidates by acclamation without balloting.
A reminder notice must then be provided between seven and thirty days before the nomination deadline which contains all the same information as the original notice, as well as a list of the names of all of the qualified candidates as of the date of the reminder notice.
It is important to keep in mind that these notices must be provided via individual mail delivery unless a homeowner has consented to receive such notice electronically.
The association is also required to confirm receipt of any nomination notice within seven business days, and the association must notify a nominee within seven business days as to whether they are qualified to be a candidate and, if not, the reason for the disqualification and the procedure to appeal the decision.
Finally, at the conclusion of these steps, the board must vote to consider the qualified candidates elected by acclamation at a meeting for which the agenda item reflects the name of each qualified candidate that will be seated by acclamation, if approved.
The law makes it highly impractical to elect candidates by acclamation and very few board are expected to utilize the new procedure.