Changes to the HOA Election Process
Senate Bill 323 introduces significant changes to the election process for residential common interest developments (HOAs). The critical changes include qualifications that must be placed on all the candidates seeking election for the HOA Board. The new legislation imposes one mandatory candidate qualification on all residential Associations and lists four permissive qualifications that could be implemented for candidates.
The new bill does not allow suspension of member voting rights. The new law states that members that are delinquent in the payment of assessments shall not be denied a ballot, under certain circumstances.
The legislation introduces two new requirements for the election of directors. This includes the “Candidate Registration List” notice and the “Nomination” notice in which ballots must be mailed out at least thirty days before the election. Now a Candidate Registration List notice must be provided at least thirty days before the ballots being mailed out. Furthermore, at least thirty days before the Candidate Registration List notice, an Association will need to provide the Nomination Notice. The downside is now planning for, and implementing these new notice requirements will lengthen and complicate the election process.
Associations must permit members to verify the accuracy of their information on the Voter List and Candidate Registration List at least 30 days before the ballots being mailed. The Association or member shall report any error to the inspector of elections who is required to correct the error within two business days.
New provisions are granting a member the right to transfer voting rights via general power of attorney. Inspectors of elections cannot be under contract for providing services to the Association (except a contract for the provision of inspector of election services).
Limits on when the election rules can be amended (no amendment less than 90 days before an election).