HOA Elections Should be Properly Supervised by an “Inspector of Elections”

The proper procedures for electing the directors of a homeowners association are frequently misunderstood and disregarded. Understandably, this can lead to disputes concerning the results of the election and costly litigation that could have been avoided. One area that is often overlooked (or completely disregarded) pertains to the use of an “Inspector of Elections” to oversee the election of the association’s directors.

State laws and/or an association’s governing documents (typically the bylaws) may contain provisions that require the selection of either one or three independent third parties to serve as the “Inspector(s) of Elections” in order to insure the secrecy and proper handling of ballots that are circulated, collected, and tabulated and the election is conducted in a fair and impartial manner that is in conformity with the applicable laws and the association’s governing documents. Statutes and bylaws provisions pertaining to the Inspector(s) of Elections commonly provide that an independent third party includes: (i) volunteer poll workers for the county in which the association is located; (ii) licensed accountants; (iii) notary publics; (iv) members of the association who are not candidates for the election or relatives of candidates for the election; or (v) persons that are employed or provide compensable services to the association pursuant to a contract unless they are expressly authorized in accordance with the association’s election rules.

The responsibilities of the Inspector(s) of Elections typically include:

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