A board can postpone an annual meeting. Before making that decision, we strongly recommend that you review your Association documents to understand what flexibility your bylaws provide in delaying an annual meeting. It is also recommended that you consult with your Association attorney. Your attorney can help create a plan for communicating the postponement of the meeting. If you do hold your meeting, you should identify a clear plan for counting votes and ensuring the integrity of the ballots. We recommend that the opening and counting of ballots be recorded in the presence of your Association attorney to eliminate future accusations of the election process integrity.
o How long can the annual meeting be delayed?
It’s best to review your Association documents and consult your attorney to understand the process and timeframe for postponing your annual election.
o What does the board do with ballots?
The ballots should be preserved along with all the envelopes they were mailed in. After counting the votes, the ballots should be placed in a box, sealed and stored for future inspection.
o If you do have an election and count votes, must owners be allowed to attend despite social distancing recommendations?
Owners can participate in the meeting via phone or videoconferencing. The counting of votes should be recorded and preferably with the Association attorney present to validate the process. We recommend asking for independent owner-volunteers to call the votes. Depending on the number of people needed to count votes, a board could ask for volunteers from different floors or neighborhoods in the property. It’s important to ensure the process is well-defined and preserved for future challenges or questions.