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4 Responses

  1. dennisl

    Dear Zubinsislucky,

    State law does not dictate that Common interest communities must use secret ballots, that is up to the individual communities to decide. The law allows for and addresses how its specific requirements would apply in either secret ballots or non-secret ballots. The community must tell the homeowners what method of ballot they will use. For example if none secret ballots are used the homeowner must sign the ballot directly, while if secret ballots are uses the homeowners signs the envelop that the ballot is contained and the ballot itself has no identification of who cast that ballot.

    The issue is that all ballot material must be retained by the community for one year and made available to view by any member wishing to do so after the fact. If your community used non-secret ballots than your actual signed ballot must be available to view by any other member of the community. The association has no right to redact your signature from that ballot, because your signature is the record of who voted in that election. With secret ballots the envelopes with signatures and the sign in sheet at the meeting must also be retained and can be view as the record of who voted in that election.

    Dennis

  2. LeAnne

    Hello Dennis, my HOA manager redacted all owner info from ballots (not secret ballot\election)that I had requested via a recorded request. Do you have a statute or law I can cite as justification they cannot redact? Thank you.

    1. dennisl

      LeAnne,

      There is no specific statute relative to this issue. The association community manager is acting on his misdirected belief that signatures on ballots are confidential. However, if the association does not have secret ballots than anyone submitting a ballot has no assumption of privacy relative to that ballot. The association is free to establish secret ballots at any time and with that the names of individuals will not be directly linked to any specific ballot. The association is required by law to retain all records relative to the election for review by any member of the community That will include the actual ballots and the sign in sheet for the meeting where the election is held. They are also required to retain the signed envelopes that contained the ballot if secret balloting was invoked. The signed envelopes and the sign in sheet document the who voted in the election. With the fact that they only provided you redacted ballots you can follow up with a request for a list of everyone that voted in the election. That would have been provided if they did not redact the signatures, now they have to provide the voting record of who voted in the election. They may claim that they do not have that record but they had to at one time have validated that every vote was submitted by legitimate voting members of the community. If they did not retain that record they violated the law. ARS 33-1812.

      Dennis

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