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Florida HOA Boards May Appoint an “Election Committee”

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Question: Every year our homeowners’ association’s board appoints an “election committee.” The committee makes sure that the meeting notices are sent out, and otherwise runs the election, including counting the ballots. This year, the chairperson of the committee announced immediately before the final self-nomination deadline that he intended to run for the board, and resigned his committee spot. This seems wrong to me because his position on the election committee would give him an advantage over other candidates. Shouldn’t this be illegal? (G.M. by e-mail)

Answer: I don’t really see anything wrong with it. Unlike condominium law, the Florida Homeowners’ Association Act does not spell out any specific election procedures and generally defers to the bylaws. The statute does not require an election committee like the condominium law does (and there, committee members can’t be board candidates).

Unless the association’s governing documents provide otherwise, there is no legal limitation against election committee members running for the board. However, for obvious policy reasons, candidates for the board should not be appointed to the committee to maintain fairness in the election. Here, the person resigned before the balloting process even started, so I see no unfair advantage.

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