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Will Mistake Require A New Election?

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Q:  I recently lost the election at my condominium by a few votes.  Although my name was on the ballot, my resume was not included with the ballot mailout.  Doesn’t this require the association to have another election? T.V.

A:      If you timely submitted your candidate information sheet, and you can provide that you did, the election was fatally flawed and a new election must be held.

The Florida Condominium Act states that a unit owner or other eligible person desiring to be a candidate for the board must give written notice of his or her intent to be a candidate to the association at least 40 days before a scheduled election. Upon request of a candidate, an information sheet, no larger than 8 1/2 inches by 11 inches, which must be furnished by the candidate at least 35 days before the election, must be included with the mailing, delivery, or transmission of the ballot, with the costs of mailing, delivery, or electronic transmission and copying to be borne by the association.

Rules from the Division of Florida Condominiums, Timeshares and Mobile Homes state that there are three “fatal” election flaws for condominium associations which will always require a new election if a challenge is made. Election challenges must be made within 60 days.

The three “deadly sins” in condo elections are: (1) failure to send the first notice by the 60 day deadline; (2) failure to timely deliver information sheets (resume) for each candidate in the second notice; and (3) failure to include the names of all the candidates on the ballot.  Other election irregularities are usually examined on a case-by-case basis, with an eye toward whether the error could have influenced the outcome.

Here, a fatal flaw has been committed as your information sheet, which you timely submitted to the association, was not included within the second notice of annual meeting.  If you challenge the election and can prove that you timely submitted your information sheet, the Division will order a new election.

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