Election by Acclamation

As of 2022, all California HOAs are eligible to use election by acclamation regardless of what their governing documents say. This is due to AB 502, which allows election by acclamation for all California HOAs as long as the following conditions are met

  1. The association held a director election at least once in the past three years. (Civ. Code § 5100(a)(2).) “The three-year time period shall be calculated from the date ballots were due in the last full election to the start of voting for the proposed election” (Civ. Code § 5103(a).)
  2. The number of qualified candidates is not more than the number of vacancies to be elected. (Civ. Code § 5103.)
  3. Notice for submitting nominations is given at least 90 days before the deadline for submitting nominations. The notice must include the number of open board positions, the deadline for submitting nominations, the manner in which nominations can be submitted, and a statement informing members the seats can be filled by acclamation without balloting. (Civ. Code § 5103(b)(1).)
  4. Notice for submitting nominations is given at least 90 days before the deadline for submitting nominations. The notice must include the number of open board positions, the deadline for submitting nominations, the manner in which nominations can be submitted, and a statement informing members the seats can be filled by acclamation without balloting. (Civ. Code § 5103(b)(1).)
  5. A reminder notice is sent between 7 and 30 days before the deadline for submitting nominations. (Civ. Code § 5103(b)(2).)
  6. The association provides, within 7 business days of receiving a nomination, acknowledgment of the nomination (i) to the member who submitted the nomination and (ii) to the nominee that they either qualify or do not. If disqualified, the reason for disqualification must be included along with a right to appeal. (Civ. Code § 5103(c).)
  7. The vote by acclamation takes place at a duly noticed meeting with the name of each qualified candidate seated by acclamation on the agenda. (Civ. Code § 5103(d).)

If the above conditions are met, the candidates can be elected by acclamation by the board at a properly noticed and agendized board meeting. The agenda for the board meeting must list the names of the candidates that the board intends to seat by acclamation. 

Use our election timeline calculator to calculate the timeline for election by acclamation.

What Election by Acclamation Means In Practice

According to the regulations, in order for election by acclamation to take place, the nomination period is required to be 90 days long instead of 30 days long for a standard election. But the benefit of following the election by acclamation process is that at the end of the nomination period, the candidates can be seated as board members without ballots being mailed out (as long as the number of candidates does not exceed the number of seats up for election). The disadvantage is that if the number of candidates exceeds the number of seats up for election, ballots still have to be mailed out after the extra-long nomination period.

Alternatively, the HOA can have a standard election with ballots where election by acclamation is not an option, even if the number of candidates does not exceed the number of seats up for election.

In summary, if the HOA is pretty certain that the number of candidates will not exceed the number of seats up for election, the election by acclamation process is the fastest and simplest. But if there is a likelihood that the number of candidates will exceed the number of seats up for election, then the safest bet is to go with the standard election process.

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