2016 Legislation - AB 1799 - Elections by Acclamation

Bill Author: 
Elections by Acclamation

AB 1799 Permits Elections by Acclamation

AB 1799 would offer an alternative voting process to associations with uncontested elections - those elections where the number of candidates for the board equals the number vacant seats. Under these circumstances (defined in the bill), the association would be able to hold elections "by acclamation."

Current Law Requires Secret Ballots

Current law requires an association to use an inspector of elections and secret ballots (among other requirements) for assessments legally requiring a vote, election and removal of directors, amendments to the governing documents, or the grant of exclusive use of common area. These election requirements are familiar to most associations, and are contained in Civil Code Sections 5100 through 5145. The law does not provide any exceptions to these requirements.

AB 1799 Permits Elections by Acclamation

This bill would except from those election requirements an election of directors if the election is uncontested, as defined. From the Legislative Counsel's Digest:

This bill would [...] except from those election requirements an election of directors if the election is uncontested, as defined, and would provide a procedure for an election to be declared as uncontested. The bill adds 2 additional election requirements that would ensure an announcement of an election and notification of nomination procedures is provided in a specific manner and would ensure a member who meets specified qualification requirements is not denied the right to vote or the right to be a candidate for director. The bill would authorize a cause of action alleging a violation of these and other specified election requirements to be brought in small claims court if the amount of the demand does not exceed the jurisdiction of that court.

Why ECHO Opposes AB 1799 Unless Amended

ECHO supported an earlier, more simplified version of AB 1799 that would have reduced expensive and pointless elections requirements for thousands of California HOAs. Unfortunately, amendments to bill have eliminated those simplifications. In fact, AB 1799 has now set up a new list of onerous requirements for associations seeking to use an alternative voting process.

While ECHO continues to support simplifying the elections process for small HOAs, this bill introduces unnecessary complications that defeat the original intent of the bill. We oppose AB 1799 unless it is amended.

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