Afternoon Quickie: Elections

In a previous post I wrote about preparing for elections at AGMs. Now I'll discuss the meeting. Hopefully you have adequately prepared for the meeting. If not, you may be in for quite the show. Here are my tips for handling elections:
  1. Agenda - Many condominiums leave the election of directors until the end of the meeting, usually right before new business. This makes sense for a variety of reasons, especially if the chair of the meeting is up for re-election. If the election is not at the end of the meeting it might be wise to have someone make a motion to amend the order of business and move it.
  2. Registration - For most condominiums the property manager handles the registration. This is perfectly fine. While the manager can put notes on proxies to note irregularities (i.e. in arrears in excess of 30 days), the ultimate decision on whether a proxy is improper should be left for the chair or scrutineers.  The manager should have all of the proxies, a list of owners, and a list of those ineligible to vote organized and ready for the scrutineers once the ballots have been cast. The manager also needs to ensure that the ballots are kept secure during registration and only given to those entitled to vote.
  3. Scrutineers - there should be an uneven number of scrutineers selected to avoid a tie-vote if they cannot agree. The scrutineers should not be related to the candidates or otherwise interested in the outcome.
  4. Explanation of special voting procedures - the chair should explain any special voting requirements (i.e. owner-occupied position), and the qualifications and disqualifications for directors.
  5. Opportunity to speak - each candidate should be given an opportunity to speak about why they would make a good director. Each person should have a limited amount of time (i.e. 1-2 minutes) and the chairperson should ensure that the time limit is enforced so everyone has a fair chance.
  6. Voting - by ballot.  The ballot should be explained by the chair. The scrutineers should collect the ballots or there should be a ballot box for owners to deposit their ballots. If there is a ballot box make sure it is empty before the owners put their ballots into it. The scrutineers should prepare a written report of the vote that details the number of votes cast for each candidate and the number, if any, of spoiled ballots or proxies.
  7. Announcing the result - The chair should review the scrutineer's report and announce the result. The specific results (i.e. 10-2) are not usually disclosed; just the names of those elected. The chair should thank the scrutineers and all candidates.
  8. Motion to Destroy - If an owner does not ask for one, the chair should ask if an owner would like to make a motion to destroy the ballots. The normal period of retention is 90 days, but the motion could require the ballots to be kept for a longer period of time if there are concerns about the result of the election.
This list is by no means exhaustive, but I hope it has provided you with some tips for handling elections at meetings. Do you have any more general topics you'd like me to discuss for AGM season? Let me know by responding to this post or sending me an email.