Condo Law Watch

You May Be Able To Vote In Secret, Or You Can Mail It In.

There has recently been some confusion in association circles about use of proxies, mail-in ballots and secret ballots in board elections.  While both the Illinois Condominium Property Act (Condo Act) and the Common Interest Community Association Act (CICAA) have provisions on this issue, they are very different.

Under CICA, which applies to homeowners and townhome associations of a certain size, section 1-25 (h-5), members may vote (1) by written proxy that meets some basic requirements, (2) by submitting an association-issued ballot in person at the election, or (3) by submitting an association-issued ballot to the association or property manager by mail or as specified in the declaration or by-laws.  But an association may instead conduct elections by secret ballot, which must be distributed by the association, so long as the board has adopted appropriate rules to very the status of members casting ballots.  Note that if an association subject to CICA uses secret ballots, use of proxies in elections is not allowed.

Under the Condo Act, section 18(b)(9) & (10), members can vote by proxy unless a rule is adopted at least 120 prior to a board election allowing members to vote via an association-issued ballot, cast either in person or submitted by mail or as specified in the declaration, by-laws or rule, in which case proxies are not allowed.  However, a condominium association can instead use secret ballots cast at the meeting for board elections, so long as the board adopts rules to verify the status of the unit owner casting a ballot or issuing a proxy used to cast a ballot.

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