Proxies as Substitutes

A proxy is a substitute for another. While proxies are permitted by law in California, they have become obsolete when it comes to elections held by homeowner associations because these elections are now held by secret ballot usually mailed to the inspector of elections. All ballots count toward establishing a quorum. Consequently, the use of proxies can be prohibited by amending an association's governing documents.

Proxy holders must be members of the association. Members cannot designate an attorney, friend, or non-member to be a proxy. California law does not require that members be in good standing to be proxies, only that they be members of the association.
While proxies may be used, they are never required given that voting is conducted by mail. Accordingly, associations are not required to provide proxies to members.

Proxies also increase the opportunity for fraud to be committed.

While ballots cannot be signed, proxy forms must be signed. The signature may be an original, but it may also be typed under California law. Unsigned proxies are void.

When a proxy is delivered to the inspector of elections, the inspector will take the proxy and provide a ballot to the proxy holder so he or she can vote.

Given that the inspector of elections must certify the election results, proxyholders must be present when the votes are being counted, in order to present any proxies and receive ballots.

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