E-voting: Yay or Nay?
Not every state permits e-voting in community associations, and, even in those that do, many associations were slow to embrace it. But some communities are taking a second look, recognizing the numerous advantages. Your clients that are considering adopting the practice also need to consider the potential downsides, as well as what’s involved in implementing an e-voting system.
Avi Tryson, managing partner of the Coral Gables, Fla., law firm Goede, Adamczyk, DeBoest & Cross, PLLC, reports seeing greater interest in e-voting from his association clients, “particularly among our clients where a large percentage of the owners live outside of [the area], either in other areas of the United States or in foreign countries. Electronic voting allows owners to vote from anywhere.”
This makes it easier to reach quorums, which has been a big draw for some associations. “At least early on, my clients that were most eager to try e-voting were my larger condominium associations that have hundreds of units,” says David Muller, a shareholder and board-certified specialist in condominium and planned development law with the Naples, Fla., office of Becker & Poliakoff.
“Those associations have been successful achieving a quorum,” he says, partly because the owners can vote instantly.
“That often becomes an issue when you have people all over the place. Sometimes there’s a concern if a notice goes out via first-class mail 14 days in advance. You never quite know if the owner in New Zealand will get it in time and get it back in time.”
E-voting systems also can tabulate ballots quicker and more accurately. If, for example, an owner votes for too many candidates, the system will catch it and prompt him or her to correct the ballot.
To learn about other advantages, as well as potential disadvantages and some tips for implementing e-voting, read our new article Should Your Clients Make the Switch to Electronic Voting?