L.W. from DuPage County, Illinois writes:
Dear Mister Condo,
I am on our HOA board and we are in the middle of an election. Our management company decided, for the first time ever, to scan in all proxy ballots and send to the entire board a week prior to the election. This seems unethical, as now board members are trying to swing the election by soliciting votes for certain candidates. I am not running again this year, so it’s not like it’s a personal issue for me, it just seems like the wrong thing to do. Is this an acceptable/legal process?
Mister Condo replies:
L.W., I am not an attorney so I can’t tell you if it is legal. While it sounds a bit unorthodox, as long as it doesn’t violate any rule or covenant of the association, I am not sure why it wouldn’t be allowed. Typically, votes are tallied by a homeowner or even a third-party. Proxy votes are not usually counted or revealed until the time that the election is complete. It seems patently unfair that seated Board members who are running for reelection have access to this voting data in advance of the actual Election and can use the information to try to garner votes. That being said, unless the election process is spelled out or Illinois law has something to say about it, there may be nothing to complain about here, just an uncomfortable practice that may need to be addressed before the next election cycle. Good luck!