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Guest virginiaachapman@yahoo.com

Virtual Meeting Contested Election Vote Count

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Guest virginiaachapman@yahoo.com

In this Covid-19 world, my association held a board meeting via GoToMeeting in an audio only format.  Owners are allowed to observe but may not participate in a board meeting. In a contested election of a board member, (a board member vote since it was for a temporary filling of a vacated seat until the owners could elect a board person for a full 3 year term.)  The chairman used the chat feature and had each board member send the name of the person they were voting to elect to this temporarily vacated board seat for two months until the general election would take place.  The chairman then randomly selected an observer of the meeting (a non board member) to send their selection via a "chat vote" to tally and announce the winner.  The next day, that person posted an open apology on social media saying he had miscounted the votes and that the announced winner had in fact, not had the majority vote.

Can this be contested?  Who can contest it?  Mr. Robert never foresaw this.

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55 minutes ago, Guest virginiaachapman@yahoo.com said:

Can this be contested?

Possibly. I can see two different reasons why this could be contested, and the mechanism for each is different.

1.) If the votes were securely preserved (which may well be the case, if the record of the chat was kept), then the board may order a recount. This may be done at the next regular meeting. A new announcement of the result may then be made based upon the recount, which (assuming the member's statement on social media is to be believed) would apparently be different than the original count. It would seem to be advisable to appoint a different person (and ideally, multiple persons) as tellers for the recount. If the result is that some other person won a majority, then that person wins. If no candidate won a majority, then a new round of voting would be held.

2.) If the board is not authorized to meet electronically in the bylaws, a Point of Order could be raised regarding this fact, followed by an Appeal if necessary. If the board ultimately determines the election to be null and void on this basis, a new election would be held.

1 hour ago, Guest virginiaachapman@yahoo.com said:

Who can contest it?

1.) Any member of the board may move that a recount be taken. The board will determine whether to order a recount, based on majority vote.

2.) Any member of the board may raise a Point of Order. The chair would rule on the Point of Order. Any board member could raise an Appeal, if it comes to that, and the board would decide on the Appeal.

1 hour ago, Guest virginiaachapman@yahoo.com said:

Mr. Robert never foresaw this.

Certainly it is correct that General Robert did not envision a situation in which a board would meet via "GoToMeeting" or send votes via "chat," or that someone would post an apology on "social media," but General Robert was well aware that mistakes can and do occur in counting votes, and that, as a result, there may be a need to recount the votes.

In addition, revisions of Robert's Rules of Order have continued after General Robert's death, and the most recent editions include some information concerning electronic meetings.

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