Inspector of Elections
Write-in Candidates – Nominations from the Floor
The Davis-Stirling Act states that homeowner associations can adopt election rules that permit nominations from the floor and write-in candidates.
Some attorneys believe that by implication, unless an association’s bylaws or election rules provide for nominations from the floor and allow write-in candidates, members are not permitted to do either (position #). Other attorneys disagree and take the position that unless an association’s bylaws or election rules expressly prohibit write-in candidates and nominations from the floor, members may do either or both. (position # 2)
We agree with the second position which we consider safer. If the first position is adopted, and a member writes-in a candidate’s name or nominates someone from the floor and is refused his or her request, it can lead to a dispute and potentially a lawsuit. If the second position is adopted, it almost never makes a difference to the outcome of the election and conflict is avoided.
The only time the second position makes a difference is if the number of nominees happen to be equal to the number of open positions. In this case, the election cannot be decided by acclamation. It must be decided by a ballot count.
We believe giving everyone the right to write-in a candidate’s name and/or to nominate someone from the floor, makes sense.