Online voting could spell the end to association election fraud in Florida!
On July 1, 2015, the law changed in Florida to allow the use of electronic voting for condominiums, cooperatives and homeowners' associations. The process must start with a board adopting a resolution advising members that online voting will be available and that the online voting system will comply with all statutory requirements as well as the Division Rules. Members must consent to use an online voting system and they do have the option to vote the old-fashioned way with paper proxies and ballots.
While online voting in community associations has been used in other states for some time, this new-found tool could represent a sea change for communities throughout Florida who have struggled for years or decades to encourage member participation in votes to elect directors, amend the governing documents, waive reserves, approve material alterations, etc.
For communities with significant out of state (and out of the country) owners, online voting will allow those members to be more engaged with their communities. Other benefits include fraud prevention, cost effectiveness and the ability to cut down significantly on the time it takes managers and boards to handle membership votes.
The Miami Herald recently ran an investigative series on association voter fraud uncovered in two Miami-Dade communities. In one condominium they had 115% voter turnout and in the other they uncovered more than 80 forged signatures on ballots. The reality is that if you do not have paper ballots, you do not have the ability to forge a signature or tamper with a ballot box. While online voting will not appeal to everyone it does represent the ability to use technology to overcome some of the problems which have plagued associations in Florida for far too many years.
I am pleased to announce the launch of my Firm's proprietary online voting system, BPBALLOT.
Please take a look and tell me what you think. www.BPBALLOT.com