Assembly Bill 1799’s Attempt to
Save Associations Time and Money on Uncontested Elections
Consider the following scenario: John and Jane are running for two identical seats on the Board of Directors for their Homeowners’ Association. They are the only two candidates running, and there are only two open seats. Nevertheless, the Association holds an election. Members flock to the polls. Voting is easy; only one option exists—two candidates for two open seats. An Inspector of Elections is hired to carefully oversee the election process. The Inspector ensures the integrity of the results and compliance with the law. Once the polls close, the Inspector spends tireless hours counting votes and calculating results. Members wait restlessly in suspense to find out which two candidates will hold these coveted seats. As a surprise to few, John and Jane are elected, receiving all of the votes.
While the above scenario seems like a ridiculous waste of Association and homeowner time and money, it’s actually pretty consistent with the election procedure currently required by law. Like any type of election, electing a Board of Directors should require procedural safeguards to ensure the accuracy and integrity of the results. However, the current law requires “uncontested elections” to follow the same election procedures as contested ones. These required procedures include minimum vote thresholds, secret balloting, and costly third party result verifications.
Assembly Bill 1799 is attempting to amend the current law to exempt Associations from these costly procedures in instances where the number of candidates running does not exceed the number of open seats. The idea is that doing so will allow Associations to save, and spend elsewhere, the resources they would otherwise be spending on unnecessary elections. While this Bill is only at the early stage of being proposed legislation, it seems to offer a logical exception to the current election procedure requirements.
To track the status of Assembly Bill 1799, or to view its text in full, visit: