Understanding “Cumulative Voting” For Directors in Homeowners Associations

The process for electing directors within homeowners associations necessitates knowing whether your homeowners association’s governing documents require the use of “cumulative voting” by the members. If so, members need to understand how cumulative voting works and need to be informed about it before they cast their votes for directors to be elected.

What is “cumulative voting?”

When an association’s process for electing directors utilizes cumulative voting, the association members who are eligible to vote have the right to accumulate their votes and cast more than one vote for a candidate. The total number of votes that a member has is based on the number of directors that are up for election. For example, if an association has a five person board of directors and its bylaws provide for new directors to be elected each year, members of the association that are eligible to vote will have five possible votes. Since some homeowners associations have directors serve for two year terms, their annual election will not be for the election of all of the directors. Such associations will generally stagger the voting so that one year there are two directors to be elected (in which case the members will have two votes for that election), and in the next year three directors will be elected (each member will have three votes).

When an association utilizes cumulative voting, the members can place all of their votes for that particular election on one person, or divide them among the candidates in any manner the member desires so long as the total number of votes cast does not exceed the total number of directors to be elected in the election.

Why does an association utilize cumulative voting?

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