Q&A: Democracy Lost?

Q Our board selected a Nominating Committee, which chose only the current board members as candidates. Six additional residents wanted to run, but their names were left off the ballot. The committee claims it selected the best for the community. With numerous mail-in ballots these people don’t stand a chance. Is this legal?

-Confused owner

A According to, “The Nominating Committee’s job is to identify good candidates for director positions but they should never interfere with the nomination or election process. That sounds like something that would happen in some third world dictatorship. By right, all nominees should be included on the ballot.

“Mail-in ballots are not recommended unless there is a huge percentage of absentee owners because this precludes nominations at the meeting. As you say, if many ballots are already cast by mail, floor nominees don’t stand a chance. The alternative is to mail a proxy to all owners which authorizes an appointee who attends the meeting to vote on an absent owner’s behalf. The proxy appointee could be a relative, neighbor, a board member or anyone of legal age.

“It seems as if this board and the nominating committee need a stern reminder about the democratic process.”

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