HOA Proxy Votes

shutterstock_317584178If you are active within your HOA, you may have heard the term “proxy” thrown around, but what exactly is a proxy, and who can be one? If you are unsure about HOA proxies, you aren’t alone, so check out these important facts that will help you understand them a little better.

What Is a Proxy?

Sometimes, HOA elections must be held to pass certain rules and regulations, to appoint new board members, etc. If a homeowner is unable to attend, they can send someone in their place. The homeowner, however, must fill out a document that appoints this person as their representative. This document is called a proxy.

Exactly what is included on the proxy varies from HOA to HOA, and depends on the HOA’s bylaws, but they usually list the date and time of the meeting and what the vote is regarding. For example, if the vote is to elect a new board member, the proxy will list the candidates.

What’s the Point of a Proxy?

There are really two reasons you assign someone to be your proxy. The first reason is because you want your vote to be counted, but you can’t attend the meeting. Perhaps you feel passionately about a topic or board candidate, and even though you are out of town during the vote, you want your voice to be heard. However, even if you don’t really wish to vote, you may still want to assign a proxy. Elections usually require a quorum or a specific number of attendees. Even if your proxy doesn’t include your vote, it will usually count toward the quorum, so the vote can at least take place.

Who Can Be Your Proxy?

In most cases, you can appoint whoever you want to be your proxy. However, it’s important to check the governing documents and state law. There may be guidelines restricting certain people from being your proxy. Perhaps the HOA only allows other homeowners to serve as proxies.

Are There Any Problems With Proxies?

Sometimes, proxies cause confusion. This is particularly the case in states that allow mail-in votes. The homeowner receives the proxy form, but instead of realizing that it is a proxy form, they think it is the actual ballot. As a result, they fill it out like the ballot and send it back, assuming they voted. This can be corrected by educating residents and explaining the difference between the proxy form and the ballot.

Proxy votes are important for an HOA. Not only do they allow homeowners who can’t attend votes to have their votes counted, they also make it easier to meet the election’s quorum requirement.

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