Best Practices to Elect a Board

February 1, 2024 Sasha Cancél
Elect a board

Composed of volunteer members from the community, boards and committees ensure the smooth functioning of HOAs and Associations. Their responsibilities are multifaceted, encompassing the gathering of information, proposing solutions to issues, addressing homeowner concerns, and policymaking. The HOA/Association boards play a critical role in reviewing and approving the proposed solutions or suggesting alternative approaches. The types of committees are diverse; to foster effective community member involvement, it’s crucial to engage individuals with relevant skills and talents, using clear communication to encourage their participation. Elect a board is very vital part of it


  1. The Importance of a Democratic Process

    A democratic process in elections is essential for fair inclusion and effective community management. This transparent and inclusive approach ensures that the elected board genuinely represents the collective interests instead of just benefitting the few administrators running the show.

  2. Conducting Fair and Transparent Elections

    Preparation and Planning: Effective elections require thorough preparation, including setting clear rules, and timelines, and informing all members about the process. Active participation from community members is vital. Property managers should motivate residents to engage in the election process, both as candidates and voters.
    Speaking Their Language: consider the multi-generational composition of your HOA/association; allow for different communications and voting formats. From in-person attending and vote mailing for the Boomers to virtual meetings and participation for Millennials, to on-the-go e-votting for Gen Z.


  3. Best Practices for HOA Board Elections

    Transparency and Effective Communication: Ensuring transparency builds trust among community members. Clear communication about the election process is crucial.
    Compliance with Laws and Bylaws: Elections must adhere to the association’s bylaws and state laws, ensuring legality and fairness.
    Professional Dispute Resolution: Handling election disputes professionally and according to the HOA’s governing documents is essential for maintaining community harmony.


Five Essential Tips for Smooth HOA Board Elections: The ONR Way

At ONR, we understand the importance of a well-organized and transparent election process for HOA boards. Here are five essential tips to ensure your elections are conducted smoothly and effectively:


  1. Establish Clear Guidelines

Start by setting solid ground rules based on your HOA’s governing documents. This includes defining the election timeline, eligibility criteria, and voting procedures. Clarity in these areas ensures fairness and sets the right expectations for all members.


  1. Ensure Informed Voting

Make sure every member knows exactly what and who they are voting for. Provide detailed information about the candidates and any other ballot measures well in advance. This transparency helps members make informed decisions, enhancing the election’s credibility.


  1. Verify Quorum Requirements

A quorum, the minimum number of members required to validate the election, is crucial. Confirm the presence of a quorum before proceeding with the vote to avoid the need for rescheduling and to uphold the election’s legitimacy.


  1. Implement Effective Proxy Policies

Proxies (a written authorization that allows one person to delegate their voting rights to another individual) can be a game-changer in meeting quorum requirements. Distribute well-designed proxy forms that include comprehensive candidate and ballot measure details. This approach not only helps in reaching a quorum but also facilitates wider member participation.


  1. Document and Partner for Success

Keep a meticulous record of all election-related activities and consider partnering with a professional property management software company for added expertise. This collaboration can bring invaluable experience in election management, ensuring a seamless process that’s precise and accountable.


Appointing the Right Committee Members

Organizational Structure: committees should define roles such as chairperson and secretary, where the chairperson is responsible for leading meetings, setting agendas, and reporting to the board.

Skills and Interests Assessment: Identifying members with the right skills and interests is crucial for effective committee functioning. Property managers should encourage residents with relevant expertise to join committees.

Diversity and Inclusion: A diverse committee ensures comprehensive decision-making. It’s important to have members from various backgrounds, experiences, races, and genders to build an inclusive team.


Defining the Committees (some examples)

  • Communications Committee: Responsible for keeping residents informed through association websites and newsletters; may have sub-committees dedicated to specific channels.
  • Safety Committee: Works with local law enforcement to promote neighborhood safety initiatives like watch programs. It’s important to note that they do not ensure security and should not be referred to as the security committee.
  • Financial Committee: This group, often divided into sub-committees, handles different financial aspects. These include reviewing monthly financials, developing annual budgets, managing reserve study recommendations, and formulating investment policies.
  • Architectural Control Committee: Ensures properties adhere to the covenants, conditions, and restrictions, maintaining property values and community standards.
  • Special Committees: These can include groups focused on covenants, governance, and hearings, assisting in the governing process of the association.
  • Landscape and Maintenance Committee: Oversees the community’s aesthetic and sustainability, ensuring a pleasant and well-maintained environment.
  • Nominations Committee: Develops criteria for board candidates and prepares the slate of candidates for annual elections.
  • Social Committee: Often considered the community’s “glue,” this committee organizes various events such as holiday celebrations, garage sales, and seasonal festivals, promoting community spirit and cohesion.


The Role of Property Management Companies

Property managers are instrumental in guiding the election and appointment processes. They must ensure these processes are fair, transparent, and comply with governing documents and laws.

  1. Combatting Low Voter Turnout: Engaging communication strategies and demonstrating the impact of the HOA board can increase voter turnout.
  2. Addressing Disengagement: Educating residents about the importance of their vote and making voting more accessible can combat apathy.
  3. Effective Conflict Resolution: Establishing clear mechanisms for conflict resolution is vital for maintaining community harmony.

By following these tips, your HOA or association can conduct board and committee elections that are not only fair and transparent but also reflective of your community’s values and expectations. At ONR, we’re committed to empowering HOAs and associations with the tools and knowledge needed for successful community governance. 


Remember, a well-executed election is the foundation of a strong and tight-knit community!