Orchard I Homeowners Association
Pursuant to California Civil Code Section 1363.03, the following rules and procedures shall apply for the election of directors and voting regarding assessments, governing documents, removal (recall) of directors, and the granting of the exclusive right to use Common Area:
Section 1. Meeting at which Secret Ballots Shall Be Tabulated
1.1 The Inspector of Election shall tabulate the ballots for the election of directors at the Annual Meeting of the owners or, if no quorum is present, at an adjourned Annual Meeting in accordance with the Bylaws. The Board of Directors shall determine the date, time and place of said Annual Meeting of the owners in accordance with the Association's Bylaws.
1.2 The polls shall open when the ballots are mailed to members and shall close 10 minutes after the corresponding Annual Meeting of the owners is called to order or, if no quorum is present, at an adjourned Annual Meeting in accordance with the Bylaws. (Amended 12/4/2008)
Section 2. Nomination of Candidates
2.1 At least sixty (60) days before the date of the meeting at which the ballots for the Election of directors are to be counted, the Association shall mail to each owner a Candidate Nomination Form.
2.2 According to the Association's Bylaws, the qualification(s) to serve on the Association's Board of Directors require that a Board member be a member of the Association in good standing with all Assessments current and not subject to any suspension of membership rights. Only one owner per lot may serve on the Board at any time.
2.3 Owners may nominate themselves or another person; provided, however, all candidates must meet the qualifications set forth in Section 2.2.
2.4 Any candidate nominated by another person will be contacted, if possible, to confirm that such candidate consents to having his or her name placed in nomination for election to the Board.
2.5 All candidates who meet the qualifications to serve on the Board and, if appropriate, have confirmed their willingness to run for election to the Board, shall be listed on the secret ballot.
2.6 The Candidate Nomination Form must be returned to the Association at the address provided on, and by the deadline stated on, such form, which deadline must be at least forty-five (45) days before the date the ballots for the election of directors are scheduled to be counted.
2.7 Candidates may also be nominated from the floor or any other manner prescribed in the Bylaws of the Association.
2.8 Prior to the secret ballots being mailed to all of the members, the Board shall assure that the names of all qualified nominees are listed on the ballot and that blank lines for write-in candidates (two or three lines, depending on the number of directors to be elected) are also placed on the ballot.
2.9 Proxies may be used by members, consistent with Association Bylaws. Proxies will not be mailed to members.
Section 3. Inspectors of Election
3.1 The Board shall appoint one independent third party as Inspector of Election before the secret ballots are mailed to all of the owners. An independent third party includes, but is not limited to:
3.2 Prior to the secret ballots being mailed to all of the members, the Inspector of Election shall determine the address to which the secret ballots shall be returned, which may be the Association's address.
3.3 The Inspector of Election shall also do all of the following:
3.4 The Inspector of Election shall perform his or her duties impartially, in good faith, to the best of his or her ability, and as expeditiously as is practical. The decision or act of a majority shall be effective in all respects as the decision or act of all.
3.5 Any report made by the Inspector of Election is prima facie evidence of the facts stated in the report.
3.6 The Board may remove and replace any Inspector of Election prior to the tabulation of ballots if an Inspector of Election resigns or if the Board reasonably determines that an Inspector of Election will not be able to perform his or her duties impartially and in good faith.
3.7 The Inspector of Election may appoint and oversee additional persons to count and tabulate votes as the Inspector deems appropriate. Such additional persons shall meet the same qualifications as the Inspector of Election as defined above.
Section 4. Secret Ballot Procedure
4.1 Ballots and two envelopes with instructions on how to return ballots shall be mailed by first-class mail or delivered by the Association to every member not less than 30 days prior to the deadline for voting. These instructions shall also state the exact date and time the polls close.
4.2 Ballots must ensure the confidentiality of the voters.
4.3 Owners may return their secret ballot by mail, hand deliver it to the meeting, or complete the ballot at the meeting, provided, however, that only those ballots which are delivered to the Inspector of Election prior to the polls closing shall be counted.
4.4 A member may request a receipt for delivery.
4.5 The record date for purposes of voting shall be the date the ballots are mailed to all of the owners.
Section 5. Campaigning
5.1 The Board may choose to provide access to Association media, newsletters, or Internet Website during a campaign. If the Board decides to provide such access, all candidates or members advocating a point of view during a campaign, including those not endorsed by the Board, shall be provided equal access for purposes that are reasonably related to the election. The Association may not edit or redact any content from these communications, but may include a statement specifying that the candidate or member, and not the Association, is responsible for
5.2 The Board may choose to provide a mailing of candidate statements with the notice of meeting and balloting materials. If the Board chooses to do so, the candidate statements should be submitted on 8 ½” x 11” paper, one sided, with a 1” border on all four sides. Font must be 12 point Times or Times New Roman.
5.3 All candidates, including those who are not incumbents, and all members advocating a point of view, including those not endorsed by the Board, for purposes reasonably related to the election, shall be provided equal access to any common area meeting space, if any exists, during a campaign at no cost.
5.4 The Board may choose to hold one or more Election Forums to provide all candidates, and all members advocating a point of view on matters reasonably related to the election, an equal opportunity to express their views to the Association membership; such Election Forum(s), if held, shall occur at the OOI clubhouse at no charge to any member.
Section 6. Handling of Ballots
6.1 As secret ballots are returned to the Inspector of Election, he or she shall check off on a sign-in sheet that a ballot has been received for such lot. The first secret ballot received for any lot shall be the ballot which is counted. Any subsequent ballots for the same lot which are received shall be deemed invalid and shall be discarded.
6.2 The Inspector of Election, or his or her designee, may verify the members’ information and signature on the second envelope (Envelope 2) prior to the meeting at which the ballots are to be tallied.
6.3 The sealed ballots at all times shall be in the custody of the Inspector of Election until delivered to the meeting for the opening of the ballots and the tabulation of the vote. After the counting of the ballots and the certification of the election results by the Inspector of Election, the ballots shall be transferred to the Association.
6.4 No person, including the Inspector of Election, shall open or otherwise review any ballot prior to the time and place at which the ballots are counted and tabulated.
6.5 After tabulation, election ballots shall be stored by the Association in a secure place for no less than one year after the date of the election. In the event of a recount or other challenge to the election process, the Association shall, upon written request, make the ballots available for inspection and review by members or their authorized representatives. Any recount shall be conducted in a manner that shall preserve the confidentiality of the vote.
Section 7. Tabulation of Votes, Quorum Requirement
7.1 In order for the vote for the election of directors to be valid, ballots must be returned by at least a quorum of the owners as defined in the Bylaws or CC&Rs.
7.2 The Inspector of Election shall confirm that no more than one ballot was returned for each lot.
7.3 Each ballot received by the Inspector of Election shall be used to constitute a quorum at a properly noticed meeting of members or adjournment thereof, consistent with the Bylaws and CC&Rs.
7.4 All votes shall be counted and tabulated by the Inspector of Election in public at a properly noticed open meeting of the members or of the Board, at which a quorum of members or a quorum of Board members, as the case may be, must be present.
7.5 Any candidate or other member of the Association may witness the counting and tabulation of the votes.
Section 8. Announcement of Results
8.1 The results of the election shall be promptly reported to the Board of Directors and shall be recorded in the minutes of the next meeting of the Board of Directors and shall be available for review by members of the Association.
8.2 Upon certification of the election results by the Inspector of Election, the newly elected Board members shall be deemed to have taken office.
8.3 Within 15 days of the election, the Board shall publicize the results of the election in a communication directed to all members.
Section 9. Other Voting/Campaign Issues
9.1 There are 389 lots in the Association, but owners whose voting rights have been suspended in accordance with the Association's governing documents after notice and hearing shall not be entitled to vote.
9.2 Consistent with the Association’s Bylaws, cumulative voting is not permitted.
9.3 Association funds may not be used for "campaign purposes" in connection with any Board Election. The term "campaign purposes" is defined to include, without limitation, (1) "expressly advocating the election or defeat" of any candidate that is on the ballot; or (2) "including the photograph or prominently featuring the name of a candidate on a communication" from the association (except the ballot and voting materials and equal access communications sent pursuant to the Section, above, entitled "Campaigning").