Election Procedures and Timeline for Board Elections
Effective January 1, 2020, the timeline for the election of directors was extended. Elections can no longer be processed in 60 days. Boards of directors and inspectors of elections should expect elections to take at least 100 days. Previously, everything could be calculated from the annual meeting date. Under the new law, dates are based upon the completion of three thirty day periods.
Boards should select a mailing date at least 100 days before the date for counting the ballots. The deadline for submitting nominations must be at least 30 days after the mailing date of the nomination applications.
Inspector of Elections
The new law specifies no time frame to select an inspector of election, except that the inspector must be selected before the pre-ballot notice or general notice is mailed to the membership.
Pre-Ballot Notices or General Notices
Per Civil Code Section 5115(b), at least 30 days after the nomination applications are mailed, and at least 60 days before the ballots are mailed, a pre-ballot notice must be mailed to the members. The pre-ballot notice or general notice must include:
- The date, time and physical address to mail or hand deliver ballots to the inspector of election;
- The date, time, and location of the ballot counting meeting; and
- The list of candidates that will be listed on the ballots including their addresses.
Ideally, copies of the completed nomination applications should also be included.
Review For Accuracy by Members
At least 30 days before the ballots are distributed, members are permitted to verify the accuracy of their information on the candidate list and voter list. Upon receipt of any requested correction, the inspector of elections must change and correct the list within two (2) business days of any error or omission being reported.
By law, the right to verify the information begins during the same time frame as when the "candidate list" must be distributed as part of the pre-ballot notice. Therefore, the verification period begins upon the members' receipt of the pre-ballot notice. The Association should also have a voter list available during the verification period based on the information available at any given time. Reports of any errors or omissions must be made early enough to allow for changes and corrections to be made before the ballots are distributed.
Distribution of Voting Packages
At least 30 days before the deadline for voting and at least 30 days after the pre-ballot or general notice was mailed, the inspector of elections, must mail by first-class mail or otherwise deliver the ballots and two preaddressed envelopes with instruction on how to return ballots to each member of the association. The election rules may be delivered by mail with the ballots or by posting the rules on an internet website and including the website address (URL) with the ballots, including the phrase, in at least 12-point font: "The rules governing this election may be found here." Ballot envelopes received by the inspector must remain sealed until counting begins, however, they may be logged in.
Annual Meeting of Members - Meeting to Count and Tabulate Votes
• Establish quorum
• Meeting called to order.
• Call for any additional casting of ballots, if applicable.
• Close the balloting.
• Inspectors open and count ballots.
• Results are announced; also posted within 15 days.
• Board holds an organizational meeting to elect officers, if set forth on the agenda.
The ballots, signed voter envelopes, voter list, completed nomination applications, proxies, and candidate registration list shall at all times remain in the custody of the inspector of elections or at a location designated by the inspector of elections until after the tabulation of the votes, and until the time allowed by Section 5145 for challenging the election has expired, at which time, custody shall be transferred to the association. If there is a recount or other challenge to the election process, the inspector of elections shall, upon written request, make the ballots available for the inspection and review by an association member or the member's authorized representative. Any recount shall be conducted in a manner that preserves the confidentiality of the ballots.
Effective January 1, 2020, all associations are required to adopt election rules compliant with all election requirements. Election rules cannot be amended less than 90 days prior to an election.