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The Role of Impartial Committees in Condominium Elections

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The focus of this article is on impartial committees for the annual election. This committee tallies the votes that were cast and determines the outcome of the election. If selected in advance of the annual meeting by the Board, the committee may also verify outer envelope information in advance of the meeting.

As a starting place, impartial committee members may be chosen by the board of directors at a properly noticed Board meeting prior to the annual meeting, or by the members at the annual meeting. Impartial committee members may not be current board members, officers, candidates for the board, or the spouses of any of the foregoing.

The committee starts its work by checking the signatures and unit information on each outer envelope against the list of qualified voters. If an outer envelope is not signed by someone who is qualified to vote for the unit, then the outer envelope must be marked “Disregarded” and placed into a folder with other documents that were submitted in the election but were not counted due to irregularities.

Once all of the outer envelopes have been checked against the list of qualified voters, it is recommended for the committee to confirm that at least 20% of eligible voters cast ballots in the election to confirm that there is sufficient participation for the election to be valid.

The outer envelopes that were not disregarded should be opened and inner envelopes should be placed into a receptacle and saved. The polls will simultaneously be closed upon the commencement of the opening of the outer envelopes by operation of law, and, after all the outer envelopes have been opened, the ballots may be removed from the inner envelopes and stacked for tallying votes.

The opening of the inner envelopes and tallying of the votes must be done in full view of unit owners who may observe but not disrupt the proceedings.

Questions about your condominium association elections and/or impartial committee requirements should be directed to the association’s legal counsel.

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