One of the most common and popular forms of living in the community is the homeowners association or mostly known as HOA, which refers to a planned community of houses and condominiums. The purpose of HOA is to provide the residents with safety and security, along with a wide range of amenities.
Homeowners association is a group of people selected by the residents to properly organize the community and effectively address the issues faced by the residents. An HOA denotes to a group consisting of a board of directors which includes the president, vice president, secretary, and treasurer.
The board of directors is democratically elected in the annual meeting, and usually, an independent third party is asked to organize the entire election process to ensure its authenticity and biasness. The rules and regulation of an HOA differ from one neighborhood to another, but the finer points usually remain the same.
The Importance of annual HOA Meeting
An HOA annual meeting is scheduled once a year where voting takes place to elect the board of directors and committee members. The meeting also addresses important issues such as new rules for the community, concerns of residents, and budget allocation.
A large community may feel the need for conducting regular meetings to ensure the progress of projects, revenue collection, and imposing fines on residents who are not following the rules. There are many advantages that homeowners get in living in an HOA community such as safety, variety of facilities, an affordable monthly fee, and not only becoming a member of HOA but also having a chance to become a member of the board of directors.
For new homeowners, it is essential to understand how the HOA board is selected as the board is responsible for enacting the rules, and playing a huge part in not only development and maintenance of the community but also effectively solving the problems of residents.
Due to the legality of the HOA selection process, an independent company is employed to perform the election and voting process. There are certain established companies that have conducted elections for HOA and know about all the details of the election process from the design of the ballot, managing the election day to tabulating and announcing the voting results.
The Advantages of Corporate Election Services
The advancement of technology has helped the third party election organizers to offer custom services. An experienced election inspector is usually asked to manage the entire election process. Some of the vital tasks included in the corporate election services California include
Customized design of the nomination paper and ballots
High-quality printing, assembly, and postage or delivery of ballots
Reviewing the governing documents
Establishing the rules and timeline of events
Receiving, registering, and securing all the ballots
A staff of 3 to 4 people or additional inspectors to assist the election inspector
Tabulating the election results
Preparing a summary and making a complete election report
Announcing the voting results
Securing the ballot and storing them for the record
Developing a purposeful election website that may even offer electronic voting
Sending mail, email, or SMS (Short message service) of voting to the members
The HOA will usually mail the ‘Candidate Nomination Form’ to almost all the homeowners 2 months prior to the election of the board of directors. The nomination form is expected to return to the association almost one month prior to the election. Some of the tips that independent third party follow to ensure a free and fair election are
Studying and analyzing the governing documents
The ruling HOA board is expected to conduct the new elections of the board according to the governing documents. The election inspector is also asked to conduct the elections as per the rules and not leave any room for objections. Some of the important factors regarding the election are how many votes are required from community members, and how many votes needed to
Preparing and managing all the details
The election inspector has a huge responsibility to ensure that all the things are planned and run smoothly on the election day. The key aspect is sending the nomination form to all members, so everyone gets a fair chance of submitting the form as a candidate for the board of the directors. The election inspector also displays the upcoming elections and the candidates running for the board of directors.
Consider offering online voting
One of the factors that affect the election process is absentee voters, and one of the best solution to solve the issue is adopting an online voting system. The voting can be done through mail or online portal. Voting through a portal can be expensive and complicated, but email voting is economical and easy.
But there should be follow-ups as sometimes due to any technical issue the emails are not sent properly, or the reply may arrive late, so it is also better to mail and remind the member to vote before the given deadline for the casting of votes for the HOA election.
The Growing Need of Modern Solutions
The virtual election programs and portals are quite beneficial and have eased the election process. The members can log in to the portal and cast a vote without having to appear for the annual meeting physically. The online voting system has also made it easier to count, manage, and analyze the election results quickly as compared to manual work.
The online voting system is also quite secure, and its cloud-based system, which means the data is stored remotely and can be retrieved without any loss of information. The third-party companies always look to maintain and upgrade the online portal system to allow seamless flow and without any problems.
The corporate services offer many value-added features to the homeowner association and necessary in these digital times. The third-party provider has the resources and expertise to ensure that the election process is fair, and every candidate gets an equal chance to be elected in the board of directors. The corporate services include everything from ballot design to voter notification and recording the election results.