Election Rules Required
Effective July 1, 2006, every common interest development is required to adopt election rules that comply with California Civil Code Section 5105. These rules must incorporate the relevant language from the association’s Bylaws and CC&Rs. Failure to adopt election rules may result in an owner contesting an election. Bylaws are not a substitution for Election Rules. Election Rules should include the following.
- Nomination procedures,
- Qualifications of directors,
- The method of selecting the inspector or inspectors of election,
- Any rules for accessing association media or common areas,
- A description of the secret balloting and mailing procedures,
- Procedures for uncontested elections, and
- Procedures for recall elections.
Applicable elections as set forth in Civil Code Section 5100 include:
- Elections of directors,
- Removal of directors,
- Special assessments,
- Amendments and restatements of the CC&Rs,
- Amendments and restatements of the Bylaws, and
- Conveyances of common area.
Election rules can be created or amended, but homeowner associations must follow the process set forth in the Davis-Stirling Act. Election rules and amendments to election rules do not become effective for 90 days prior to an election. Given the 28 day mandatory notice period to create or amend a rule, and the 90 the period referenced above, it is important for boards to start early if they intend to create or amend election rules.