Section 108: The Right to Vote and Run for Office

VIII. Homeowners shall have well-defined voting rights, including secret ballots, and no director shall have a conflict of interest.


1. Voting Rights. No association may deny a homeowner’s right to vote on any issue that affects an assessment or other provision of governing documents that apply to the membership class of the homeowner.

a. For a home with multiple owners, unless expressly provided by the declaration: if only one owner seeks to vote, that owner votes for the home; but if more than one owner seeks to vote, votes must be allocated by agreement of a majority of the home’s owners or, absent agreement, coowners shall split votes in proportion to their ownership interest. Agreement exists if any homeowner votes without another homeowner protesting either before the vote in writing or, at the vote, promptly to the person presiding over the vote.

b. No vote may be cast except by the homeowner or, where permitted by law and the governing documents, by a person holding a proxy, provided the following applies

i. The proxy must be dated and designate a meeting for which it applies.

ii. The proxy may not be revocable without notice, and may be revoked only by actual notice to the person presiding over the meeting.

iii. The proxy must designate each specific agenda item to which it applies, except a homeowner may execute a proxy without designating any item if used solely to determine whether a quorum exists. For each specific agenda item designated, the proxy must specify a vote for or against the proposition or, in an election or recall, state a specific position regarding who to vote for or whether to vote for or against recall. If a proxy does not state proper instructions to vote on an item, the proxy must be treated as if the homeowner were present but not voting on that item.

iv. When a holder casts proxy votes, the holder must disclose the number of proxies held, and the proxies must be kept as part of the public record of the meeting for the period provided by law.

v. Association governing documents may provide for homeowner proxy voting by absentee ballot, with the ballot as specific as any other proxy, and with the association’s secretary to announce the number of such ballots received for each vote at the meeting, and the ballots kept as part of the public record of the meeting.

c. Votes allocated to homes owned by the association may not be cast, by proxy or otherwise, for any purpose.


2. Candidacy. No homeowner may be denied the right to run for office.

a. Unless a person is appointed by the developer: the person may not serve as director (or officer) if the person or any relative (defined under state law) serves as manager for the association or, if a master association, manager of any association that is subject to the governing documents of the master association.

b. Each candidate named on a ballot for director must make a good faith effort to disclose in writing, by actual notice to all homeowners or as otherwise provided in the corporate documents, any financial, business, professional or personal relationship or interest that would appear to a reasonable person to result in a potential conflict of interest if the candidate were elected director.


3. Voting Procedure. Unless state law sets different requirements, and if not otherwise specified by corporate documents, a quorum exists if homeowners with 25 percent of voting power attend, or where permitted, are present by proxy at a meeting; provided, where only a specified class may vote on a particular issue, a quorum to vote on that matter requires 25 percent of voting power of that class. At any meeting, election of directors, recalls, and homeowner votes on assessments, amendment to governing documents, operating rules, or other matters shall be conducted by secret ballot (except as provided with respect to proxies in ¶ 1b), with all ballots kept as part of the records of the election for the period provided by law.


4. Access to Forums. If any candidate for an election, or homeowner advocating a point of view for purposes reasonably related to a homeowner vote, is permitted to use a forum that is paid for by the community (such as a newsletter, bulletin board, or meeting area) to promote his or her candidacy for a board election, then other candidates and homeowners shall also be permitted equal access to the same forum under the same conditions.




As recognized by the Supreme Court, “the right to exercise the franchise in a free and unimpaired manner is preservative of other basic civil and political rights, [so] any alleged infringement of the right of citizens to vote must be carefully and meticulously scrutinized.” [136]

Absent truly exceptional circumstances, single-family subdivisions should follow the principle of one-home, one-vote.


This model statute supports secure rights to vote for all homeowners, whose actions may reflect legitimate and unresolved disagreements with their associations, personal hardship, or trivial violations. [137] Local governments do not deny the right to vote based on tax delinquency or noncompliance with zoning and, like local governments, associations have other effective ways

to ensure compliance with their rules. Moreover, the power to deny votes carries too great a

potential for abuse.


The model statute does permit denial of a right to vote on issues that have no effect on assessments or other provisions of governing documents that apply to the membership class of a homeowner. This enables associations to set classes of membership with different voting rights.


For example, an association can provide a class of membership that belongs to a recreational club and a class of membership that does not belong to the club, and the levels of assessments could differ. The association could specify that only homeowners belonging to the club would have the right to vote on assessments or other provisions of governing documents that apply only to that class of members.


The rules for allocating votes (¶ 1a), [138] proxies (¶ 1b), [139] prohibition on voting by associations (¶ 1c) [140] , and conflicts (¶ 2) [141] derive from Nevada law. All rules regarding voting, and the period for voting, should be specified in writing before the election. [142]

Likewise associations should specify nomination procedures for candidates in writing before the election. [143] Protection of the right to run for office (¶ 2) follows California and Florida law. [144]


The model statute contains a provision for proxies (including absentee ballots). The specificity guards against misuse of the process, at the same time ensuring that all homeowners (including any who may be ill or homebound) are provided an equal opportunity to participate in the election process or for any other vote. [145]


Quorum laws differ from state to state, and might differ based on the nature of the association or

its size. The model statute contemplates a default rule. [146] Nevada provides for secret ballots to elect and recall directors, and the model statute applies this to each important vote. [147[


The model statute (¶ 4) follows California’s approach to ensure equal access to community

forums, such as newsletters, an important part of “leveling the playing field” in board elections

and other homeowner votes. [148] This is in addition to the requirements of fair access to

community resources as stated in Section 106, The Right to Individual Autonomy (¶¶ 4-5).

[136] Reynolds v. Sims, 377 U.S. 533, 562 (1964).

[137] See also Duffy v. Sunburst Farms East Mut. Water & Ag. Co., Inc., 124 Ariz. 413, 604 P.2d 1124 (1979); Adams v. Meyers, 250 Ill.App.3d 477, 620 N.E.2d 1298 (1993).

[138] Nev. Rev. Stat. 116.311(1); see also Cal. Corp. Code 7612 & 7517(b) (either of joint owners can vote); UCIOA § 3-110(a) (same).

[139] Nev. Rev. Stat. 116.311 (2 & 3); see also Ariz. Rev. Stat. 33-1250 (for condos); Cal. Corp. Code 7612 & 7613; Tex. Prop. Code 82.110; Fla. Stat. Ann. 720.306(8); cf. UCIOA § 3-110.

[140] Nev. Rev. Stat. 116.311(9).

[141] Nev. Rev. Stat. 116.31034(5 & 6); see also Ariz. Rev. Stat. 33-1250A.

[142] See Cal. Civ. Code 1363.03(a)(4).

[143]  See Cal. Civ. Code 1363.03(a)(3).

[144]  Id.; Fla. Stat. Ann. 720.306(9).

[145]  Compare Ariz. Rev. Stat. 33-1812A & 33-1250(C) (allows absentee ballots but not proxies).

[146] See, e.g., UCIOA § 3-109 (20 percent for member meetings); Cal. Corp. Code 5512(a) (one-third of voting power).

[147] Nev. Rev. Stat. 116.31034(8) & 116.31036(2); see also Cal. Civ. Code 1363.03(b & d) (requiring secret ballot).

[148] See Cal. Civ. Code 1363.03(a)(1). If the association provides any candidate with financial support to run for an association office, all candidates must at the same time receive equal support.