Sunday, November 11, 2012

Do Florida's election woes match your community's?

We made it through another election cycle with the state of Florida once again garnering some national attention about the way we handle our voting procedures.

Some of the criticism centered around incredibly long early voting lines (a lawsuit has actually been filed), an overly complicated ballot with 11 constitutional amendments and a deadline for absentee ballots that didn't allow Florida to tabulate votes as quickly as most other states. Both Oregon and Washington State have all mail-in voting systems which leaves room for debate as to how Florida can improve next time around.

This process also lends itself to comparison with our association election process which is soon to start in most condominium, cooperative and homeowners' associations around Florida. November-March is generally regarded as the height of annual meeting and election season in Florida's shared ownership communities. While Florida condominium and cooperative elections are highly regulated by statute, there is still room for dysfunction to creep in. HOAs are even more vulnerable to election problems.

Just how easy a process is your Florida association election?

Are notices provided timely?

Is information conveyed in an easy-to-understand manner?

Are various communication channels used to urge people to attend the meeting and cast their own votes?

Are arrangements made for disabled owners to easily cast their votes?

Is an impartial election committee in place to count the votes?

Are the ballots secured prior to the night of the meeting?

Is all candidate information provided to the membership?

Are the candidates listed properly on the ballot?

Are proxies (where applicable) properly prepared and easy to read?

If we still struggle with getting our local, state and federal elections right in Florida, is it any wonder that our private residential communities continue to struggle as well when it comes to electing their representative boards? Clearly, there is room for improvement in both arenas.


  1. Condo FL.Our condomimium board does mirror the politcal area. It is slow to change; ignores chances to get more informed and educated on how to conduce proper elections; runs the board the way they want (as we have do it this way for years). I blame the community for not being more concerned.
    However, just as it has been touted that the Republican party was not attuned to the changing culture, our community is changing culturally and most are only interested in their place and takes a don't bother me attitude. How do fix that when they refuse to participate?

  2. I am curious if a condo election is legal when the Presidents personal attorney does the election and all Association business?

    Also, the attorney did not announce the votes each candidate received. Just announced the new board of directors.