Major condominium association changes are made through Homeowner and Board of Director voting.
It's therefore very important for Owners to understand condominium voting concepts and procedures and to elect representatives that support the Owners' interests.
This webpage provides the following important voting and election-related information:
BOD Election Flowchart & Envelopes,
Board Director Election Rules,
Condominium Owner Voting & Actions Requiring a vote,
Board Member Voting, and
BOD Election Mailing
The following chart summarizes procedures prescribed by the Condominium Act for electing board directors:
Annual Owners Meeting
- An annual meeting of the unit owners must be held at the location provided in the association bylaws and, if the bylaws are silent as to the location, the meeting must be held within 45 miles of the condominium property.
- Written notice must include an agenda, must be mailed, hand delivered, or electronically transmitted to each unit owner at least 14 days before the annual meeting, and must be posted in a conspicuous place on the condominium property at least 14 continuous days before the annual meeting.
- Unless a lower number is provided in the bylaws, the percentage of voting interests required to constitute a quorum at a meeting of the members is a majority of the voting interests. Limited proxies and general proxies may be used to establish a quorum.
- Unit owners may not vote by general proxy but may vote by limited proxies substantially conforming to a limited proxy form adopted by the division.
- A proxy, limited or general, may not be used in the election of board members. General proxies may be used for other matters for which limited proxies are not required.
Board Director Election Rules
(FL Administrative Code 61B-23.0021)
- Balloting is not necessary to fill any vacancy unless there are two or more eligible candidates for that vacancy.
- A regular or general election occurs at the time and place at which the annual meeting is scheduled to occur, regardless of whether a quorum is present.
- A board of administration cannot create or appoint any committee for the purpose of nominating a candidate or candidates for election to the board. A board may create or appoint a search committee to encourage qualified persons to become candidates for the board.
- The first notice of the date of the election, which is required to be mailed, electronically transmitted, or delivered not less than 60 days before a scheduled election, must contain the name and correct mailing address of the association.
- A unit owner desiring to be a candidate for the board of administration must give written notice to the association in accordance with one or more of the following methods:
- - By certified mail, return receipt requested, directed to the association; or
- - By personal delivery to the association; or
- - By regular U.S. mail, facsimile, telegram, or other method of delivery to the association.
- Upon receipt by the association of any timely submitted written notice by personal delivery that a unit owner desires to be a candidate for the board of administration, the association shall issue a written receipt acknowledging delivery of the written notice. Candidates who timely submit a written notice by mail may wish to send the written notice by certified mail in order to obtain a written receipt.
- The association includes, with the second notice of election, a copy of an information sheet which may describe the candidate's background, education, and qualifications as well as other factors deemed relevant by the candidate. The information contained therein shall not exceed one side of the sheet which shall be no larger than 8 1/2 inches by 11 inches.
- No association shall edit, alter, or otherwise modify the content of the information sheet. The original copy provided by the candidate shall become part of the official records of the association.
- Both the first and second notices are mailed or delivered to the eligible voters at the addresses listed in the association’s official records.
- The second notice and accompanying documents shall not contain any communication by the board that endorses, disapproves, or otherwise comments on any candidate.
- The written ballot must indicate in alphabetical order by surname, each and every unit owner or other eligible person who desires to be a candidate for the board of administration and who gave written notice to the association not less than 40 days before a scheduled election, unless such person has, prior to the mailing of the ballot, withdrawn his candidacy in writing.
- No ballot shall indicate which candidates are incumbents on the board. No write-in candidates shall be permitted. No ballot shall provide a space for the signature of or any other means of identifying a voter.
- All ballot forms utilized by a condominium association, whether those mailed to voters or those cast at a meeting, shall be uniform in color and appearance.
- If a person is entitled to cast more than one ballot, multiple inner envelopes (each containing a single ballot) may be enclosed within a single outer envelope.
- Outer signed envelopes can either be mailed or hand delivered to the association. Upon receipt by the association, no ballot may be rescinded or changed.
- Envelopes containing ballots received by the association shall be retained and collected by the association and shall not be opened except in the manner and at the time provided herein.
- Envelopes containing ballots are collected by the association and transported to the location of the unit owners’ meeting.
- The association will have available at the owners’ meeting additional blank ballots for distribution to eligible voters who have not cast their votes.
- Each ballot distributed at the meeting is placed in an inner and outer envelope.
- Each envelope and ballot is handled in the following manner. As the first order of business, ballots not yet cast are collected. The ballots and envelopes are then handled as stated below by an impartial committee. The business of the meeting may continue during this process.
- An impartial committee means a committee appointed by the board whose members do not include any of the following or their spouses:
- Current board members;
- Officers; and
- Candidates for the board.
- The signature and unit identification on the outer envelope is checked against a list of qualified voters, unless previously validated as provided in the paragraph below.
- Any exterior envelope not signed by the eligible voter is marked “Disregarded”, and any ballots contained therein are not counted. The voters are checked off on the list as having voted.
- Then, in the presence of unit owners in attendance, and regardless of whether a quorum is present, all inner envelopes are removed from the outer envelopes and placed into a receptacle. Upon the commencement of the opening of the outer envelopes, the polls are closed, and no more ballots are accepted.
- The inner envelopes are then be opened and the ballots are removed and counted in the presence of the unit owners.
- Any inner envelope containing more than one ballot is marked “Disregarded”, and any ballots contained therein are not counted. All envelopes and ballots, whether disregarded or not, are retained with the official records of the association.
- Any association desiring to verify outer envelope information in advance of the meeting may do so using an impartial committee at a meeting noticed in the manner required for the noticing of board meetings open to all unit owners and held on the date of the election.
- If two or more candidates for the same position receive the same number of votes, which would result in one or more candidates not serving or serving a lesser period of time, the association shall, unless otherwise provided in the bylaws, conduct a runoff election.
- Within 7 days of the date of the election at which the tie vote occurred, the board shall mail or personally deliver to the voters, a notice of a runoff election. The only candidates eligible for the runoff election to the board position are the runoff candidates who received the tie vote at the previous election. The notice shall inform the voters of the date scheduled for the runoff election to occur, shall include a ballot conforming to the requirements of this rule, and shall include copies of any candidate information sheets previously submitted by those candidates to the association. The runoff election must be held not less than 21 days, nor more than 30 days, after the date of the election at which the tie vote occurred.
Condominium Owner Voting
Florida statutes and Jupiter Bay's Bylaw Paragraphs 3.5 and 3.6 provide the following owner voting information:
- Numbers of Votes - Owners are entitled to cast one (1) vote for each condominium unit.
- Voting Member - The right to vote is established by the roster of Unit Owners. In a Unit owned by husband and wife, either may vote but not both. If a Unit is owned by more than one person, the person entitled to cast the vote for the Unit shall be designated by a certificate (Voting Certificate) signed by all of the record owners of the Unit according to the roster of Unit Owners and filed with the Secretary of the Association. Such person need not be a Unit Owner, or one of the joint owners. These certificates are valid until revoked or until superseded by a subsequent certificate or until a change in the ownership of the Unit concerned.
- Quorum - A majority of voting interests in the condominium community constitutes a quorum. For matters concerning the Jupiter Bay master association, a quorum is 180 voting interests. A voting interest must be represented in person or by proxy at a meeting to be considered present for purposes of establishing a quorum. Any unit ineligible to vote reduces the number of voting interests.
- Proxies - Votes may be cast in person or by written proxy. A proxy may be made by any person entitled to vote. It is valid only for the specific meeting for which originally given and any lawful adjourned meeting thereof, but it is not valid for a period longer than ninety (90) days after the date of the first meeting for which it was given. Every proxy is revocable at any time by the person executing it. A proxy must identify (1) the meeting for which the proxy is given, (2) the Unit represented, (3) the member who is granting the proxy, and (4) it must be signed and dated by the person authorized to cast the vote for the Unit (as above-described). It must be filed with the Association's Secretary before or at the meeting. Holders of proxies need not be Unit Owners, but no person may hold more than five (5) proxies.
- Majority Vote - The acts approved by a majority of the votes present in person or by proxy at a meeting at which a quorum is attained shall be binding upon all Unit Owners for all purposes, except where otherwise provided by law, the Declaration, the Articles or the By-Laws. The term "majority of Unit Owners" means a majority (more than 50%) of the votes of the Members present in person or by proxy and voting at any meeting of the Unit Owners at which a quorum has been attained. Similarly, if some greater percentage of Members is required in the Bylaws, Declaration or Articles, it shall mean such greater percentage of the votes of Members.
Association Actions Requiring Unit Owner Voting
Unit owner decisions are required for votes taken to do the following:
- Waive or reduce reserves,
- Use reserves for other purposes,
- Elect directors by ballot,
- Amend the Declaration
- Amend the Articles of Incorporation or Bylaws (unless such documents state otherwise),
- Recall board members,
- Adopt a substitute budget,
- Materially alter and/or substantially add to the association property,
- Terminate the condominium,
- Extend a developer guarantee,
- Waive financial reporting, and
- Cancel certain contracts.
Some Unit Owner voting can be done through the "Consent to Action" process.
Board Member Voting
- Quorum - A majority (3 members) of the full board of administration constitutes a quorum. Absent members cannot be counted for purposes of establishing a quorum unless attending by telephone.
- Majority Vote - A majority of the quorum has the authority to act for the full board on all matters, unless some extraordinary majority is required by the Association bylaws for a particular item of business.
- Voting - Each board member present at a meeting is presumed to have assented (voted "yes") to actions taken at the meeting unless he or she votes against the action (votes "No") or abstains from voting because of a conflict of interest. Directors may not vote by proxy or by secret ballot at board meetings, except that officers may be elected by secret ballot. A vote or abstention for each member present shall be recorded in the minutes. Members of the board who are not present at the meeting in any way are not counted in the vote unless they elect to join the results of the meeting by signing the minutes to concur with the actions taken.
- Abstaining from Voting - Corporate law does not provide for a member of the board to abstain on reasons of general principle, but only when a conflict of interest actually exists. The nature of the conflict and the reason for abstaining must be disclosed and recorded in the meeting minutes.
An Organizational Meeting is the first meeting among the newly elected or appointed Board Members, which is held after the Owner’s Membership Meeting for the purpose of electing Officers. The Association’s bylaws (paragraph 4.5) require the meeting to be held within ten days of the election at a place and time fixed by the Directors; however, it’s common practice to hold the Organizational Meeting immediately after the Owners’ Meeting. This meeting must be properly noticed and this notice is usually placed in the membership meeting notice package as a separate notice. Per Florida statutes, the meeting must be open to all owners.
Four Officer Positions are filled. Per Florida Statute 718.112(2)(a), a condominium association’s “Board of Administration shall be composed of five members, except in the case of a condominium which has five or fewer units, in which case the Board shall consist of not fewer than three members. The Board of Administration shall have a President, a Secretary, and a Treasurer, who shall perform the duties of such officers customarily performed by officers of corporations. Unless prohibited in the bylaws, the Board of Administration may appoint other Officers and grant them the duties it deems appropriate.” In addition to the three Officer positions mandated by Florida statutes, the Association’s bylaws provide for a Vice President, who “shall exercise the powers and perform the duties of the President in the absence or disability of the President.”
Election of Officers. It’s Jupiter Bay’s practice to elect Officers from among the Directors. However, the Association’s bylaws (paragraph 6.1) say that none of them need to be Directors, and in fact Officers need not be Unit Owners. Although Association members elect the Directors, the Officers are elected solely by the Board of Directors, and there’s no requirement that the Board base their decision on number of owner votes received, owner preferences, prior position(s) held, or qualifications for the position. Generally each Officer position is held by a separate Director; however the statutes allow for a person to hold more than one office, except that the President may not also be the Secretary. No person shall sign an instrument or perform an act in the capacity of more than one office. Directors may not vote by proxy or by secret ballot at Board Meetings, except that Officers may be elected by secret ballot. A vote or abstention for each member present shall be recorded in the minutes.
Order of Business. An Organizational Meeting is conducted in the same manner as a Board Meeting following a similar agenda:
- Call to Order
- Proof of Due Notice of Meeting
- Roll Call (of the Directors)
- Certifying Quorum
- Reading & Disposal of any Unapproved Minutes
- Officer Appointments (discussion, motions & voting)