• David Cain

Democracy in the Community

As a homeowner in an HOA community, you have a right to participate in deciding what will be done about community issues that affect all residents. By casting your vote—either in person or by proxy or absentee ballot—you can help make important choices like renovating the community center, replacing the street lamps, approving a special assessment or increasing the regular assessment. Most especially, you have the right to participate in electing new association board members.

The association provides all homeowners with 30 days’ notice of the community’s annual meeting where voting on important matters usually takes place. If you are unable to attend such a meeting, you still can vote. Check with the board or community manager about how to cast an absentee ballot, vote electronically or provide a trusted neighbor with your proxy.

Consider carefully before giving your proxy to another association member. A general proxy is an act of trust on the part of the giver. It allows the proxy holder, who isn’t legally bound to vote as you might have, to vote as he or she deems appropriate. However, a directed proxy allows you, the giver, to control how the proxy holder votes. Consult the board or manager for details about proxy voting.

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