Inspector of Elections
FAQ - HOA Elections
How much experience do you have in holding elections for common interest developments in California?
We have more than 30 years of experience holding elections for large and small homeowner associations. We have held hundreds of elections for every type of common interest development.
Will HOA Inspector of Elections Conduct its services by Zoom if requested?
Yes. We can provide our inspector of elections services in person or by Zoom depending on the location and preference of our client.
What are the types of elections that you have held?
We have held secret ballot elections for: (1) Election of Directors (2) Special Assessments, (3) Recall of Directors, (4) Amendments to CC&Rs, (5) Amendments to Bylaws (6) Repeal of Operating Rules, and (7) Grants of Exclusive Use Common Area.
Will HOA Inspector of Elections provide us with a count of the ballots received prior to the actual counting of the ballots at an open meeting?
Yes. Upon request, we will provide existing board members, candidates, and the management company a ballot count as often as reasonably needed. We can also provide you with a list of owners whose ballots have been received by us. We fully understand the importance of providing this information.
How can anyone be certain that the inspector of election will act fairly and objectively?
The contract that we sign for election services is between the Inspector and the association which is either a corporation or an unincorporated association. The board members that sign the agreement are not a party to the agreement. The inspector of elections owes a duty to the association and every member of the association to act fairly and honesty, and to follow the law. We take our responsibility very seriously. When an election has been concluded, we want the person or persons who did not prevail to agree that the election was conducted fairly and honestly.
Who is permitted to witness or closely observe the counting of ballots by the inspector of elections?
Any member of the association has the legal right to observe the opening of the ballot envelopes and the counting of the votes, as long as they do not interfere with the conduct of the election. They may not observe how each member of the association voted.
How are tie votes for directors resolved?
The decision is left to the inspector of elections to determine whether the association’s bylaws or election rules provide an answer, and then utilize the method set forth in those documents, if any. If the bylaws or election rules do not provide an answer, the inspector of elections will usually request that the candidates agree to the flip of a coin. Otherwise, a run-off election will be required to break a tie vote.
I am not currently on the board of my condominium association. I have a group of homeowners that wants to recall the board of directors. Can you assist us?
Assuming the recall group properly submits a recall petition to the board of your association, the board will have the obligation to arrange an election. If we are selected by your board, both sides will experience a fair election process that meets all requirements of the law.
I have learned from several sources that it takes approximately 105 days to hold an HOA board election or other secret ballot election. Why does it take so long?
The California legislature passed a new in 2019 that went into effect on January 1, 2020. The law forces HOA boards to follow numerous time-consuming procedures and timelines that make it impossible to materially reduce the time to hold HOA elections. The law also made it far more expensive for associations to hold HOA elections.
I lost my ballot. How can I obtain a replacement?
Simply call or email our office and we will email a replacement ballot to you.
Does your firm act as the inspector of elections for organizations other than homeowner associations?
Absolutely. We can act as the inspector of elections for any type of corporation or unincorporated association such as private clubs, unions, fraternal organizations, charities, and other types of organization anywhere in California.
Does your firm provide any other services in addition to acting as the inspector of elections for common interest developments?
Yes. Another division provides HOA assessment collection services throughout California. The website is Pacific-AssociationCollections.com. A separate division provides court judgment collection services: PRCColletions.net. Michael Chulak has also provided expert witness and consulting services for attorneys more than 150 times.
Can a homeowner association sell or transfer exclusive use rights to a portion of the common area to one homeowner?
Yes, provided that two-thirds of the membership vote by secret ballot to approve the transfer.
Are the boards of stock cooperatives required to be elected by secret ballot?
Yes. All common interest developments must elect their boards by secret ballot.
Do you provide consulting services to homeowner associations and HOA management companies?
Yes. I also provide consulting services and expert witness services to attorneys throughout California.
If our homeowner association needs to restate or amend our CC&Rs or Bylaws, can you refer an attorney to our board or management company who has experience in this area the law?
Yes. Do not hesitate to call if you require a referral.
Is it permissible for ballots to be mailed to the board or management company?
No. Ballots should always be mailed or delivered directly to the inspector of elections. If ballots are mailed or delivered to board members or the HOA management company, it is easy for an owner to accuse the board or management company of discarding ballots from specific individuals, thus tainting the fairness of the election.