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Are Election Rules required in AZ

Is there any law possibly Civil that requires AZ HOA’s to have election rules?
We need them, but some will resist if there is “no meat” behind the need.

7 Responses

  1. DennisL

    Pam,

    There are some state statutes relative to Condo and HOA elections. For Condominiums they are contained in ARS 33-1250 and for Planned Communities they are identical statutes in ARS 33-1812. Despite those laws elections are often abused to serve the desires of the existing board or the management company. I’ve often proposed legislation to fix some of these issues but have not gotten sufficient traction to get them introduced or passed. The HOA industry and their high paid lobbyist work hard to stop any legislation to make the process fairer or clearer. Lack of clarity in the law gives the HOA industry attorneys clear advantage to interpret the law any way that suits the association.

    Until we can get enough support to force the legislators to take actions to stop this abuse all my efforts are in vain.

    Dennis

  2. Pam

    I have read ARS 33-1812, and although helpful, not as complete to prevent fraud and division within the community. I do have another question.
    What is your take on from the floor nominations and write in’s. I read item 2, in 33-1812,
    (2. The ballot shall provide an opportunity to vote for or against each proposed action.) as not permitting these actions for HOA’s. I have read a blog or two that it appears lawyers here in AZ agree with that interpetation.

    1. DennisL

      Pam,

      The real issue is quorum. The law requires that association allow homeowners to vote in person at a meeting or via absentee ballot, with the added provision that allows all absentee ballots that are submitted be counted toward achieving the quorum for the meeting of the members. if the absentee ballots are required to achieve the required quorum than no motion or action can be taken at the meeting that was not on the absentee ballot. If however, a quorum is present at the meeting than those present can make any motion or take any action they so desire even though those issue were not on the absentee ballot. I actually had a bill that stipulated that exact point in 2020 but it was withdrawn based on opposition by AACM and CAI and a weak legislator unwilling to fight for what is right based on the opposition.
      Dennis

    2. DennisL

      Pam
      Some additional thoughts. Write ins should be valid but there are no discussions in statutes relative to that capability so that will depend on the bylaws of each individual association. Please remember the annual meeting of the members is a meeting of the members and they decide what is acted on and who can speak and not the board. While the board can facilitate a meeting of the members it is not their meeting and they cannot provide the controls that they do for meetings of the board.

      Dennis

  3. Pam

    Thank you, for this information.

    Have you seen an verbiage for allowing nominations from the floor and write ins? We need to create election rules and that would have to be a part of the rules, since there is nothing in our by-laws.

    Regards,

    Pam

  4. Pam

    What is your opinion if we seldom have a quorum at our meetings for allowing write in and nominations from the floor. It appears to me we should not be doing this. We are a small community of 100 owners and getting a quorum of 30 would be very unusual.

    Thanks,

    Pam

  5. DennisL

    Pam,

    As I mentioned earlier Arizona law requires the association to allow homeowners to vote on any issue including elections in person at a meeting and by absentee ballot. The absentee ballots count toward establishing the quorum for the meeting. If you do not get a quorum between the members present and the absentee ballots the meeting cannot be held. The meeting and election can be held if the total number of people that submitted absentee ballots and those that actually attend the meeting satisfies the quorum requirement for the meeting. Because the members at the meeting do not constitute a quorum by themselves they can do nothing at the meeting that was not specifically addressed in the absentee ballot. This includes nominations from the floor.

    State laws do not currently address write in candidates or nominations from the floor, so these communities are subject to whatever process is described in the association bylaws. If there are none than the association is free to do whatever it wants. The association is able to create rules relative to the election process by proposing an amendment to the bylaws, that can either be authorized by simple board vote or may require the approval of the members whatever is specified in the bylaws on amendments to the bylaws. If you are interested in me providing you verbiage relative to altering your bylaws than i’ll first need to see your current bylaws.

    The heirarchy of documents governing actions in your community are State laws. then CC&R’s then Articles of Incorporation , then bylaws, then rules and regulations. No lower document can contradict a higher document. If their are no specific state laws on an issue that the community documents control all issues.

    Dennis

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