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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Attorney
Category: Legal
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Experience:  JA Mentor -Attorney Labor/employment, corporate, sports law, admiralty/maritime and civil rights law
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Florida HOA wants to change the election process. One component

Customer Question

Florida HOA wants to change the election process. One component of this is to send out ballots 3 times for people to nominate themselves.
They have setup a couple rules (without changing of the bylaws).
1) On the third sending of the ballots if exact max number (7) of available positions = candidates they declare them the winner.
2) If they have two fewer candidates (5) than required they would allow candidates from the floor to be nominated but the five that already had their name nominated
were automatically elected and the floor and proxies could only vote for the.

I believe this is wrong for two reasons:
1) Although the bylaws allow for floor nominations they are removing it in scenario 1. 2) You are essential taking peoples ability to pick candidates away because in situation 2 you can only vote for two.
3) They are doing this without changing our bylaws and I can find a 720 reference that would allow them to do it.

*** major concern is this could invalidate an election is someone challenged this process****.

Our By Laws
5. Elections. Elections of directors must be conducted in accordance with the
procedures set forth in the governing documents of the Association. All members of the Association shall be eligible to serve on the board of directors, and a member may nominate himself or herself as a candidate for the board at a meeting where the election is to be held.Except as otherwise provided in the governing documents, boards of directors must be elected by a plurality of the votes cast by eligible voters.


Florida State Statutes 720. for HOAs
(9)ELECTIONS AND BOARD VACANCIES.—
 (a)Elections of directors must be conducted in accordance with the procedures set forth in the governing documents of the association. All members of the association are eligible to serve on the board of directors, and a member may nominate himself or herself as a candidate for the board at a meeting where the election is to be held; provided, however, that if the election process allows candidates to be nominated in advance of the meeting, the association is not required to allow nominations at the meeting. An election is not required unless more candidates are nominated than vacancies exist. Except as otherwise provided in the governing documents, boards of directors must be elected by a plurality of the votes cast by eligible voters. Any challenge to the election process must be commenced within 60 days after the election results are announced.
 (b)A person who is delinquent in the payment of any fee, fine, or other monetary obligation to the association for more than 90 days is not eligible for board membership. A person who has been convicted of any felony in this state or in a United States District or Territorial Court, or has been convicted of any offense in another jurisdiction which would be considered a felony if committed in this state, is not eligible for board membership unless such felon’s civil rights have been restored for at least 5 years as of the date on which such person seeks election to the board. The validity of any action by the board is not affected if it is later determined that a member of the board is ineligible for board membership.
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 10 months ago.
Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only.

First, you will not find anything on this in the statutes, because how an association conducts its elections is solely on the association to decide.

Second, no matter how the ASSOCIATION votes to hold their election process, it must be in the bylaws or in your governing documents. Since this process is not in your bylaws or governing documents, the election held this way would be invalid and in order to invalidate it or stop it from occurring, if the board will not listen to the members, you would have to go to court for a declaratory judgment.

Third, the association could vote like the manner you describe, but they would first have to put forth a change to their governing documents, which is what the bylaws reference, or the bylaws, and then the membership of the association would have to vote on the change and only then could they hold elections in this manner.

Unfortunately, as an aside, associations do this because they have nobody interested in being on the board and if people stepped up for the board there would be no need for floor nominations or three requests for nominations in the mail. So, you need to rally support amongst the members to not just stop the process right now because it is not in accordance with the bylaws or the governing documents the bylaw refers to and you also need to get people who want to actually run for the board.




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Law Educator, Esq., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 90039
Experience: JA Mentor -Attorney Labor/employment, corporate, sports law, admiralty/maritime and civil rights law
Law Educator, Esq. and 8 other Legal Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 month ago.


So if the process the HOA uses is clearly not inline with their governing documents can you take them to the DBPR prior to an election to force them to follow that process? Doing it after an elect would be kind of disruptive. Thanks, BC

Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 month ago.
Thank you for your response.

You would have to take them to DBPR prior to the election or take them to court to get an injunction to stop the election which is really the proper way to stop an election.

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