Getting members to participate in board member elections can be like pulling teeth. The more convenient you make the process, the more likely to get members to participate. Fortunately, the Illinois Condominium Property Act (the “Condo Act”) and the Illinois Common Interest Community Association Act (“CICAA”) allow Boards to adopt rules and regulations to permit electronic voting. Not only is electronic voting convenient, but it can save the association money by not having to pay for printing or postage. Boards can always adopt dual systems of voting allow for those members who are not tech savvy to continue to vote in person via ballot while allowing others to vote electronically.
Sections 18(b)(9)(A) and (B-5) of the Condo Act and Section 1-25(h-5)(4) and (i) of CICAA allows members of condominium associations and common interest communities to vote via “any electronic or acceptable technological means” so long as the Board adopts a rule allowing for electronic voting at least 120 days before the board election or the association’s declaration and/or by-laws allow for electronic voting. Thus to get started with electronic voting, the Board must adopt a rule to allow for electronic voting. The Board should follow the procedures set forth in the Condo Act and CICAA for adopting any other rule or regulation. Rules and regulations may be adopted by the Board (without membership approval) after a duly noticed meeting of the unit owners are called for the specific purpose of discussed the proposed rules and regulations. The Board should provide notice of the meeting no less than 10 and no more than 30 days before said meeting and include a copy of the proposed rule.
It is important to note that the rule must be adopted at least 120 days before the board election. If the Board fails to adopt the rule within the allotted time frame, electronic voting will not be able to be used for that Board election. Additionally, if an electronic voting rule is adopted for board elections, Unit Owners may not vote by proxy in board elections but may vote only: (1) by submitting an association-issued ballot in person at the election meeting or (2) by an acceptable technological means. The Condo Act and CICAA define “acceptable technological means” as “electronic transmission over the Internet or other network, whether by direct connection, intranet, telecopier, electronic mail, and any generally available technology that, by rule of the association, is deemed to provide reasonable security, reliability, identification, and verifiability.”
Additional requirements for an electronic voting rule are as follows:
- Instructions regarding the use of electronic means for voting must be distributed to all Unit Owners not less than 10 and no more than 30 days before the election meeting.
- The instruction notice must include the names of all candidates who have given the board or its authorized agent timely written notice of their candidacy and must give the person voting through electronic or acceptable technological means the opportunity to cast votes for candidates whose names do not appear on the ballot.
- For condominium association, the instruction notice must give Unit Owners not less than 21 days’ prior written notice of the deadline for inclusion of a candidate’s name on the ballots. The deadline must be no more than 7 days before the instructions for voting using electronic or acceptable technological means is distributed to Unit Owners.
- The instructions and rule must provide that a member who submits a vote using electronic or acceptable technological means may request and cast a ballot in person at the election meeting, and thereby void any vote previously submitted by that member
Please reach out to Kat Formeller at firstname.lastname@example.org for assistance in drafting and adopting the appropriate rules for electronic voting.
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