|Florida Administrative Code|
|61B. Division of Florida Condominiums, Timeshares and Mobile Homes|
|61B-23. The Association|
61B-23.0021. Regular Elections; Vacancies Caused by Expiration of Term, Resignations, Death; Election Monitors
(1)(a) Unless otherwise provided herein, the provisions of this rule apply to all regular and run-off elections conducted by a condominium association, regardless of any provision to the contrary contained in the declaration, articles of incorporation, or bylaws of the association.
(b) Except as otherwise provided by Rules 61B-23.0027 and 61B-23.0028, F.A.C., the provisions of this rule do not apply to vacancies created by the recall of a board member or members. The method of removing board members by recall and the procedures for filling such vacancies are set forth in Rules 61B-23.0026 through 61B-23.0028, F.A.C.
(c) In order to adopt different voting and election procedures in its bylaws pursuant to Section 718.112(2)(d), Florida Statutes, an association must obtain the affirmative vote of a majority of the total voting interests even if different amendatory procedures are contained in an association’s bylaws. Such vote must be taken on or after June 14, 1995. The phrase “different voting and election procedures” as used in this rule and as used in Section 718.112(2)(d), Florida Statutes, refers to procedures used only for the election of board members.
(d) Balloting is not necessary to fill any vacancy unless there are two or more eligible candidates for that vacancy. In such a case, not later than the date of the scheduled election:
1. For a regular election the association shall call and hold a meeting of the membership to announce the names of the new board members, or shall notify the unit owners of the names of the new board members or that one or more board positions remain unfilled, as appropriate under the circumstances. In the alternative, the announcement may be made at the annual meeting.
2. For an election pursuant to Section 718.112(2)(d)9., Florida Statutes, to fill a vacancy, the association shall call and hold a meeting of the membership to announce the names of the new board members or, in the alternative, shall notify the unit owners of the names of the new board members or that one or more board positions remain unfilled, as appropriate under the circumstances.
(2) A regular or general election for purposes of this rule shall be an election to fill a vacancy caused by expiration of a term in office. A regular or general election shall occur at the time and place at which the annual meeting is scheduled to occur, regardless of whether a quorum is present. Other elections as may be required shall occur in conjunction with duly called meetings of the unit owners, regardless of whether a quorum is attained for the meeting.
(3) A board of administration shall not create or appoint any committee for the purpose of nominating a candidate or candidates for election to the board. A board may create or appoint a search committee which shall not have the authority to nominate any candidate, but may encourage qualified persons to become candidates for the board.
(4) The first notice of the date of the election, which is required to be mailed, electronically transmitted, or delivered not less than 60 days before a scheduled election, must contain the name and correct mailing address of the association. Failure to follow the procedures for giving the first notice of the date of the election shall require the association to conduct a new election, if the election has been conducted. Where the election has not occurred, the association shall mail, transmit, or deliver an amended first notice to the eligible voters, which shall explain the need for the amended notice, not less than 60 days before the scheduled election. If an amended notice cannot be mailed, transmitted or delivered not less than 60 days before the election, then the association must re-notice and reschedule the election.
(5) A unit owner or other eligible person desiring to be a candidate for the board of administration shall give written notice to the association not less than 40 days before a scheduled election. Written notice shall be effective when received by the association. Written notice shall be accomplished in accordance with one or more of the following methods:
(a) By certified mail, return receipt requested, directed to the association; or
(b) By personal delivery to the association; or
(c) By regular U.S. mail, facsimile, telegram, or other method of delivery to the association.
(6) Upon receipt by the association of any timely submitted written notice by personal delivery that a unit owner or other eligible person desires to be a candidate for the board of administration, the association shall issue a written receipt acknowledging delivery of the written notice. Candidates who timely submit a written notice by mail may wish to send the written notice by certified mail in order to obtain a written receipt.
(7) Upon the timely request of a candidate as set forth in this paragraph, the association shall include, with the second notice of election described in subsection (8) below, a copy of an information sheet which may describe the candidate's background, education, and qualifications as well as other factors deemed relevant by the candidate. The information contained therein shall not exceed one side of the sheet which shall be no larger than 8 1/2 inches by 11 inches. Any candidate desiring the association to mail or personally deliver copies of an information sheet to the eligible voters must furnish the information sheet to the association not less than 35 days before the election. If two or more candidates consent in writing, the association may consolidate into a single side of a page the candidate information sheets submitted by those candidates. The failure of an association to mail, transmit or personally deliver a copy of a timely delivered information sheet of each eligible candidate to the eligible voters shall require the association to mail, transmit, or deliver an amended second notice, which shall explain the need for the amended notice and include the information within the time required by this rule. If an amended second notice cannot be timely mailed, transmitted or delivered, the association must re-notice and reschedule the election. If the election has already been conducted, the association shall conduct a new election. No association shall edit, alter, or otherwise modify the content of the information sheet. The original copy provided by the candidate shall become part of the official records of the association.
(8) In accordance with the requirements of Section 718.112(2)(d), Florida Statutes, the association shall mail or deliver to the eligible voters at the addresses listed in the official records a second notice of the election, together with a ballot and any information sheets timely submitted by the candidates. The association shall mail or deliver the second notice no less than 14 days and no more than 34 days prior to the election. The second notice and accompanying documents shall not contain any communication by the board that endorses, disapproves, or otherwise comments on any candidate. Accompanying the ballot shall be an outer envelope addressed to the person or entity authorized to receive the ballots and a smaller inner envelope in which the ballot shall be placed. The exterior of the outer envelope shall indicate the name of the voter, and the unit or unit numbers being voted, and shall contain a signature space for the voter. Once the ballot is filled out, the voter shall place the completed ballot in the inner smaller envelope and seal the envelope. The inner envelope shall be placed within the outer larger envelope, and the outer envelope shall then be sealed. Each inner envelope shall contain only one ballot, but if a person is entitled to cast more than one ballot, the separate inner envelopes required may be enclosed within a single outer envelope. The voter shall sign the exterior of the outer envelope in the space provided for such signature. The envelope shall either be mailed or hand delivered to the association. Upon receipt by the association, no ballot may be rescinded or changed.
(9) The written ballot shall indicate in alphabetical order by surname, each and every unit owner or other eligible person who desires to be a candidate for the board of administration and who gave written notice to the association not less than 40 days before a scheduled election, unless such person has, prior to the mailing of the ballot, withdrawn his candidacy in writing. The failure of the written ballot to indicate the name of each eligible person shall require the association to mail, transmit, or deliver an amended second notice, which shall explain the need for the amended notice and include a revised ballot with the names of all eligible persons within the time required by this rule. If an amended second notice cannot be timely mailed, transmitted or delivered, then the association must re-notice and reschedule the election. If the election has already been held, under these circumstances the association shall conduct a new election. No ballot shall indicate which candidates are incumbents on the board. No write-in candidates shall be permitted. No ballot shall provide a space for the signature of or any other means of identifying a voter. Except where all voting interests in a condominium are not entitled to one whole vote (fractional voting), or where all voting interests are not entitled to vote for every candidate (class voting), all ballot forms utilized by a condominium association, whether those mailed to voters or those cast at a meeting, shall be uniform in color and appearance. In the case of fractional voting, all ballot forms utilized for each fractional vote shall be uniform in color and appearance. And in class voting situations, within each separate class of voting interests all ballot forms shall be uniform in color and appearance.
(10) Envelopes containing ballots received by the association shall be retained and collected by the association and shall not be opened except in the manner and at the time provided herein.
(a) Any envelopes containing ballots shall be collected by the association and shall be transported to the location of the duly called meeting of the unit owners. The association shall have available at the meeting additional blank ballots for distribution to the eligible voters who have not cast their votes. Each ballot distributed at the meeting shall be placed in an inner and outer envelope in the manner provided in subsection (8) of this rule. Each envelope and ballot shall be handled in the following manner. As the first order of business, ballots not yet cast shall be collected. The ballots and envelopes shall then be handled as stated below by an impartial committee as defined in paragraph (b) below appointed by the board. The business of the meeting may continue during this process. The signature and unit identification on the outer envelope shall be checked against a list of qualified voters, unless previously validated as provided in paragraph (b) below. Any exterior envelope not signed by the eligible voter shall be marked “Disregarded” or with words of similar import, and any ballots contained therein shall not be counted. The voters shall be checked off on the list as having voted. Then, in the presence of any unit owners in attendance, and regardless of whether a quorum is present, all inner envelopes shall be first removed from the outer envelopes and shall be placed into a receptacle. Upon the commencement of the opening of the outer envelopes, the polls shall be closed, and no more ballots shall be accepted. The inner envelopes shall then be opened and the ballots shall be removed and counted in the presence of the unit owners. Any inner envelope containing more than one ballot shall be marked “Disregarded”, or with words of similar import, and any ballots contained therein shall not be counted. All envelopes and ballots, whether disregarded or not, shall be retained with the official records of the association.
(b) Any association desiring to verify outer envelope information in advance of the meeting may do so as provided herein. An impartial committee designated by the board may, at a meeting noticed in the manner required for the noticing of board meetings, which shall be open to all unit owners and which shall be held on the date of the election, proceed as follows. For purposes of this rule, “impartial” shall mean a committee whose members do not include any of the following or their spouses:
1. Current board members;
2. Officers; and
3. Candidates for the board.
At the committee meeting, the signature and unit identification on the outer envelope shall be checked against the list of qualified voters. The voters shall be checked off on the list as having voted. Any exterior envelope not signed by the eligible voter shall be marked “Disregarded” or with words of similar import, and any ballots contained therein shall not be counted.
(c) If two or more candidates for the same position receive the same number of votes, which would result in one or more candidates not serving or serving a lesser period of time, the association shall, unless otherwise provided in the bylaws, conduct a runoff election in accordance with the procedures set forth herein. Within 7 days of the date of the election at which the tie vote occurred, the board shall mail or personally deliver to the voters, a notice of a runoff election. The only candidates eligible for the runoff election to the board position are the runoff candidates who received the tie vote at the previous election. The notice shall inform the voters of the date scheduled for the runoff election to occur, shall include a ballot conforming to the requirements of this rule, and shall include copies of any candidate information sheets previously submitted by those candidates to the association. The runoff election must be held not less than 21 days, nor more than 30 days, after the date of the election at which the tie vote occurred.
(11) Any voter who requires assistance to vote by reason of blindness, disability, or inability to read or write, may request the assistance of a member of the board of administration or other unit owner to assist in casting his vote. If the election is by voting machine, any such voter, before retiring to the voting booth, may have a member of the board of administration or other unit owner or representative, without suggestion or interference, identify the specific vacancy or vacancies and the candidates for each. If a voter requests the aid of any such individual, the two shall retire to the voting booth for the purpose of casting the vote according to the voter’s choice.
(12) At a minimum, all voting machines shall meet the following requirements:
(a) Shall secure to the voter secrecy in the act of voting;
(b) Shall permit the voter to vote for as many persons and offices as he is lawfully entitled to vote for, but no more;
(c) Shall correctly register or record, and accurately count all votes cast for any and all persons;
(d) Shall be furnished with an electric light or proper substitute, which will give sufficient light to enable voters to read the ballots; and
(e) Shall be provided with a screen, hood, or curtain which shall be made and adjusted so as to conceal the voter and his actions while voting.
(13) Notices of election, notices of candidacy for election, information sheets, voting envelopes, written approval of budgets, written agreements for recall of board members, ballots, sign-in sheets, voting proxies, and all other papers relating to voting by unit owners shall be maintained as part of the official records of the association for a period of 1 year from the date of the election, vote, or meeting to which the document relates.
(14) Election Monitors. As provided by Section 718.5012(9), Florida Statutes (2004), fifteen percent of the total voting interests entitled to vote at the annual meeting of unit owners for the election of directors, or the owners of six units entitled to vote at the annual meeting of unit owners for the election of directors, whichever number is greater, may petition the ombudsman for the appointment of an election monitor. The procedures for filing a petition for the appointment of an election monitor are contained in Rule 61B-23.00215, F.A.C.
Rulemaking Authority 718.112(2)(d)3., 718.501(1)(f), 718.5012(9) FS. Law Implemented 718.112, 718.301, 718.5012(9) FS. History–New 1-23-92, Amended 12-20-92, Formerly 7D-23.0021, Amended 8-24-94, 12-20-95, 1-19-97, 4-14-99, 2-19-01, 12-23-02, 8-7-05, 8-28-06.