Electronic Voting – It’s the Wave of the Future – Get on Board Now!!

Homeowners, legislators, anyone who has complaints about elections in California HOAs – here is something you can sink your teeth into!


Electronic voting – imagine a process that is likely to enhance the ability of homeowners in HOAs vote on important measures with ease, no matter where they are or what time fo the day it is. Social media is the wave of the future and many people (including me) abhor being inundated with paper. HOAs constantly are pushed into higher legal compliance expenses and the double envelope voting process in California is no exception.


The purpose of introducing electronic voting in California, according to CAI-CLAC, sponsor of AB 1360, is to make it easier for California homeowners in HOAs to vote, and the easier the better for everyone!!. Apathy is hard to beat, unless you can bring the subject to that laptop, phone, IPAD, or internet device in almost everyone’s hands!


And, there is another side to this. I get a quite a few emails from individuals who have complaints about elections in their homeowners associations. I am not saying they are all justified, but some are.  Sometimes those complaints are about bias, meaning claims that the board or management somehow skewed the election results. Under California law, boards or candidates for the election cannot act as Inspectors of Election. The Inspector(s) oversees the election, takes possession of the ballot packages, does the tabulation of the ballots (with help of appointees if Inspector desires) and storage of the ballots after the election).


Under California law, Civil Code Section 1363.03, managers or CPAs that work for the associations can act as Inspectors if the Election Rules so provide. And because of convenience, many HOAs use the managers, or the Association CPA or attorney. Using the manager generally is much less expensive than hiring an independent Inspector.


But anyone who has a grudge against the board for whatever reason  is likely to assume that when the manager acts as Inspector, there is something fishy going on. Electronic voting will prevent any damage bias or perceived bias might cause.


Here is your chance to promote a voting process that takes the board, the association, the manager, and anyone tied to it seamlessly into the future and out of the tabulation process – AND brings your association into possibly the most secure and cost-efficient way of conducting an election!


You can thank CAI-CLAC (Community Associations Institute California Legislative Action Committee)  for its efforts to achieve passage of a bill that would allow for owners in an association to opt into electronic voting.  And the processes would be set up by a provider completely independent of the association, so claims of bias would melt away.


Pushback to AB 1360, the bill that would allow for electronic voting, focuses mainly on a lack of confidence in the “black box” or should I say distrust for the internet/ electronic voting process. C’mon now!


Many of us have overcome our fears of security and protection for conducting business on the internet, buying with credit cards, and even banking, opting for convenience over risk, and trusting the steps taken by providers to protect privacy. There are many many corporations and other entities that offer electronic voting. And with the “opt in” instead of “opt out” choice, no owner will be disenfranchised when an association offers electronic voting.


I say – get on board! If you want to help push AB 1360 Electronic Balloting Bill Authored by Norma Torres and to stay abreast of CLAC’s work on bills like this – visit www.caiclac.com.  By clicking into links on that site, you can find links to news on the hottest bills and keep up with the progress of the bill. You can also sign up for CLAC-TRAC to become part of the grass roots that makes a difference in Sacramento and California!


Do it now, RIGHT NOW!  There is a hearing on this bill this coming Wednesday, May 2 and CLAC will help you locate your legislator and provide information on who all to contact to express your support for this important bill.

Also, watch for the E-News coming out Tueday May 1. Elections Old and New (under 2013 Davis Stirling and 2014 Davis Stirling).


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