AB 1426 (Irwin). Common interest developments: association governance: elections.

hoa-elections-voting1

Would amend Civil Code § 5100 to exempt HOAs from having to comply with the Davis-Stirling Act’s balloting procedures where an election of directors is uncontested.

Current Status: Pending

FindHOALaw Quick Summary:

The Davis-Stirling Act currently requires HOA board elections to be conducted by secret ballot in accordance with the procedures set forth in Civil Code Section 5100 et. seq. (See “Elections Requiring Secret Ballots.”) AB 1426 (Irwin) would amend Section 5100 in order to exempt HOAs from having to comply with those procedures where an election of directors is “uncontested.” An “uncontested” election would be defined as an election where the number of candidates, including write-in candidates, does not exceed the number of directors to be elected at that election and the HOA has declared the election to be uncontested.

As currently proposed, AB 1426 would allow for an election to be declared uncontested if all of the following requirements are met:  the election rules have been adopted and complied with, all declared candidates were nominated before the deadline for nominations, the inspector of elections has informed the board that the number of candidates does not exceed the number of directors to be elected, the board votes in open session to declare the election is uncontested after a hearing during an open board meeting where members are able to make objections, and the board provides general notice to the membership at least twenty (20) days before that board meeting.  The notice must include the date, time, and place of the meeting, the board’s intention to vote to declare the election of directors is uncontested, the names of all candidates who will be declared elected if the board declares the election is uncontested, and the right of any member to attend the meeting to object to the board declaring the election uncontested before the board votes on the matter.  The names of the candidates, the general notice, any objections, and the board vote shall be recorded in the meeting minutes.  If the association’s governing documents provide for write-in votes, the association shall allow fifteen (15) days for a write-in candidate to submit his or her name to the inspector of elections.  In the event one or more write-in candidates are timely submitted, which results in the total number of candidates exceeding the total number of directors to be elected, an election shall be held.  If, after the 15 day period, the total number of candidates still does not exceed the total number of directors to be elected, the uncontested election results shall be sealed and become effective immediately.  If an association’s governing documents do not provide for write-in votes, then the association must provide at least 15 days general notice of the self-nomination process.

This bill would also amend Civil Code § 5105 to provide general notice to the membership of the election and the nomination procedures (the “Call for Candidates”), at least sixty (60) days prior to any election of directors.  Any member who is qualified, in accordance with the governing documents, shall not be denied the right to vote or to be a candidate for the board.  This bill would amend Civil Code § 5145 to allow for a cause of action against the association for violation of rules required by Section 5105.

To read the current text of AB 1426, click here to the view the bill’s page on the California Legislature’s website. FindHOALaw will continue to track AB 1426 as it progresses through the Legislature. 

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View more info on AB 1426
from the California Legislature's website