As a board member you’re guaranteed to run in to people who vote by proxy, so it’s important that you understand the process and possible implications of it. The biggest question we get about proxies is “What is it?” A proxy is simply a document that an owner signs to appoint someone else to vote on his or her behalf at HOA meetings. Proxies are helpful in hitting your quorum, but it’s important to make sure your proxy sheet does the following things:
- Notes the time and date of the meeting.
- Identifies the names of the candidates and provide lines for write-in votes.
- Clarifies that if an owner doesn’t vote, their proxy will be counted toward quorum, but not the vote.
- Clarify that owners can’t vote for more than the number of people running, or their proxy won’t be counted.
- State, “I hereby appoint [the name of the manager or a board member] as my proxy to vote on my behalf.”
- Clearly require that while an owner can set a proxy, his or her proxy HAS to attend the meeting for it.
Just like anything, proxies have pros and cons. Proxies give owners a way to vote and participate even when their schedule prevents them from attending a meeting. They also allow your HOA to make quorum and still hold votes.
Regardless of the challenges, proxies are an important tool for your HOA board. If your board takes the time to understand them, educate homeowners on the purpose of a proxy, uses them as intended, your community will benefit. If you’re struggling to implement proxies, work with your community management company. They should know your local laws and should be able to help your community navigate the processes without added stress.
If you don’t have an HOA management company that understands your needs, give Spectrum a call. We’d love the chance to work with your community.