The Law Protects Proxy Vote in Condominiums

By Joseph Adams  

Question: We recently received a proxy for our upcoming condominium association’s annual meeting. The proxy states that if we do not appoint a proxyholder the secretary will be the proxyholder and cast the votes for the absent members. What would prevent the secretary from “loading the vote”? P.S. (via e-mail)

Answer: The law.

If your condominium association was attempting to use a “general proxy”, then nothing would prevent the secretary from voting any way he or she saw fit. However, condominium associations are generally prohibited from using general proxies except to establish a quorum or for addressing administrative/procedural business at the meeting (such as approving minutes or adjourning). Section 718.112(2)(b)2. of the Condominium Act provides “except as specifically otherwise provided herein, unit owners may not vote by general proxy, but may vote by limited proxies substantially conforming to a limited proxy form adopted by the Division.” The statute goes on to state that limited proxies must be used for essentially all substantive votes by the Association.

The form limited proxy adopted by the Division includes a place for the association to include the name or position of an officer or director who will serve as the proxyholder in the event that another proxyholder is not named. Accordingly, it sounds like the form that you received from your association naming the secretary as the proxyholder in the absence of some other individual named is consistent with the Division’s form.

When a limited proxy is used, the proxyholder simply submits the votes as indicated on the limited proxy. They do not have the authority to vote in any way other than as is indicated on the proxy. Accordingly, the secretary, as the default proxyholder, would not have the ability to “load the vote” because they can only cast the votes as directed by the unit owner who gave the proxy.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s