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Voting


AmyLou

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I am a member of a large HOA that uses Robert’s Rules as its meeting standards. We need to vote to update our bylaws and covenants. We do not have the space available to have every member present at the vote. 
 Can we allow members to “drop off” votes at designated times to be tallied once they are all collected?

if “no” what would be an acceptable method for us to utilize?

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On 1/20/2023 at 5:51 PM, AmyLou said:

Can we allow members to “drop off” votes at designated times to be tallied once they are all collected?

Well, sort of.

The assembly can authorize the establishment of “polling places” such as what you describe, but this would have to itself be done at a meeting of the assembly with a quorum present. You also can’t prevent members from attending the meeting.

So for this strategy to work, you’d at least need a space large enough to have a quorum present, and you’d need members to voluntarily cooperate with this plan.

On 1/20/2023 at 5:51 PM, AmyLou said:

if “no” what would be an acceptable method for us to utilize?

Get a bigger space.

It may also be there is some solution in applicable law.

It would seem prudent that when you update the bylaws, one of the updates would to include some form of absentee voting or electronic meetings.

Unless the bylaws or applicable law provide otherwise, business can only be conducted at an in-person meeting.

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In HOAs, very often there are laws requiring allowance of proxy and/or mail-in voting.  I obviously have no idea of your HOA or the composition of its members but in any I have lived in most people would rather eat their own foot out of a bear trap rather than going in person to a HOA meeting of any kind.

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More information and citations pertaining to the "polling places" solution.

"All nominations can be completed before any balloting takes place—in which case voting for all offices is commonly done by a single ballot. This method is suitable for use in conventions where voting takes place at a “polling place” apart from the convention meetings. It may also be a preferred method in any large meeting where the time required for balloting is an important consideration." RONR (12th ed.) 46:31

This method of voting is designed as a way of giving more flexibility for when members cast their votes, and is not really intended as an alternative to providing a space large enough for the assembly to meet.

The other complication which occurs to me is that the reading of the tellers report and the announcement of the result by the chair must occur at a meeting with a quorum present (and indeed, must occur at the same meeting as the vote, unless otherwise authorized by the assembly). Providing otherwise would require a special rule of order.

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