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Why Do HOA Board Elections Take So Long?

The primary reason why HOA board elections take so long is because of certain requirements mandated by SB 323, which went into effect in January 2020. Among other requirements, SB 323 added the requirement for an additional notice in the HOA election process. This additional notice is called the Pre-Ballot Notice, which must be given to HOA members between the Call for Nominations and sending out the ballots. The Pre-Ballot Notice is also sometimes called the “60-day Notice” because it must be given at least 60 days before the election date or the “5115 Notice” because it is described in Section 5115(b) of the Davis-Stirling Act.

The Pre-Ballot Notice must be given after the close of nominations, but at least 30 days before ballots are mailed out. It must include:

  1. The date and time by which, and the physical address where, ballots are to be returned by mail or handed to the inspector or inspectors of elections.
  2. The date, time, and location of the meeting at which ballots will be counted.
  3. The list of all candidates’ names that will appear on the ballot.
  4. Individual notice of the above paragraphs shall be delivered pursuant to Section 4040 if individual notice is requested by a member.

The Pre-Ballot Notice must also give HOA members the opportunity to verify the accuracy of their individual information on the voter list.

However, the voter list itself is not required to be included in the Pre-Ballot Notice. The voter list must include owner name, voting power, and either the physical address of the voter’s separate interest, the parcel number, or both. The voter’s mailing address shall also be listed on the voter list if the mailing address differs from the voter’s HOA property address. The association shall permit members to verify the accuracy of their individual information on the voter list at least 30 days before the ballots are distributed. The association or member shall report any errors or omissions to either list to the inspector or inspectors who shall make the corrections within two business days.

Civil Code §5115(b), §5105(a)(7)

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