Pursuant to new laws in the State of California, Civil Code §5110(b), homeowner associations (HOAs) are now required to hire 3rd party inspectors for board elections. These HOA election inspectors work with the board of directors to conduct an independent and unbiased election process, prepare ballots, mail and collect ballots, and count votes.
As HOAs begin to think about their upcoming annual board elections, they will be required by law to use an independent third party.
Finding a Qualified HOA Election Inspector
Election inspectors are required to be both independent and familiar with applicable state regulations and the governing documents of the community association. For HOAs, this means that they need to find someone who is not a sitting board member or board candidate. The inspector also may not be an employee or contractor of the HOA. The inspector needs to know all the relevant laws for conducting elections, including the Davis-Stirling Act. He or she also has to have experience with conducting elections in a way that is fair and impartial.
It is worth emphasizing that the inspector may not be employed, directly or indirectly, by the association or its management company.
These guidelines are essential for ensuring the ballot process is unbiased and challenge-free.
Look For Professional Memberships
HOAs should seek out inspectors with relevant qualifications, including professional memberships. The inspector should be a member of a professional association, such as the CA Association of Community Managers (CACM) or the Educational Community for HOA Homeowners (ECHO). Memberships in these organizations help to ensure inspectors have the proper knowledge base and professionalism to conduct an election.
Hire A Professional Who is Well-Versed In the Law
HOA boards should not conduct their own election inspections because they do not have the necessary expertise or independence. However, board members play an important role in selecting a qualified inspector who is well-versed in the law and becomes familiar with the HOA governing documents. The inspector has to be able to address any issues that may come up during the election process while maintaining confidentiality and integrity of the election, so the election is not challenged by a homeowner or candidate.
The professional inspector of elections should be well-versed in California laws surrounding HOAs, including the Davis-Stirling Act, AB 502 and AB 3182.
Look For Experience & References
It’s important to consider an election inspector with a history of administering HOA elections. Good references from past clients will help you to make an informed decision. Additionally, you can look up reviews from online platforms like Facebook and Google. Be sure to thoroughly vet an inspector you are considering for your community’s next board election.
Get a Quote
After reading these tips on how to find an HOA election inspector, it’s time to request a quote.
At Pro Elections, we pride ourselves on accurate, affordable, hassle-free and challenge-free elections. We handle the required notifications to homeowners, the ballot distribution process, and receipt and tally of the ballots. Every election receives a customized webpage for homeowners and managers to keep track of the election timeline and number of ballots received. Start the process by requesting a quote from us here.