Question: Our HOA has an election at its annual meeting (October 18, 2014) for two open board seats. This year there are 4 candidates, of which 1 is an incumbent. The Association Manager placed the incumbents name first on the ballot and is actively asking homeowners to vote for that candidate. Is this legal? Is it proper? Does it not constitute discrimination against the other 3 homeowners who are running for the two seats? Our Declarations and Covenants do not address the issue of Association employee advocacy for specific candidates for Board positions. Do homeowners have recourse to cause the Association Manager to cease this advocacy? — Kathy H., via email
Answer: If you lived in a Florida condominium, the Florida Administrative Code would clearly prohibit listing candidates in any fashion other than alphabetically.
HOA elections are not subject to the same restrictions. However, in some instances, listing a candidate as being an incumbent is not going to be an advantage depending on the popularity of current board practices. —Donna DiMaggio BergerAdvocacyDiscriminationVoting
MargaretMarch 25, 2015
Donna, thank you for the information on how candidates are listed. Beyond that, what if any guidance can you offer or cite regulations which may regulate to what extent, if any, a management company may attempt to influence the outcome of an election for members of the Board which select and oversee the company?