Who May Appoint. As provided for in Civil Code § 5105(a)(5), associations may use one of the following methods for selecting Inspectors of Election:
- Appointment by the board;
- Election by the membership. This may be a more democratic approach but it is unwieldy and costly because it requires (a) the administrative task of recruiting multiple persons or companies willing to compete for the privilege of overseeing the association's election, and (b) the cost of holding an extra election, i.e., the election of Inspectors prior to the election of directors. This creates the conundrum that electing Inspectors requires secret balloting, which requires the selection of additional inspectors to count the ballots for the election of the Inspectors.
- Any other method for selecting the inspector or inspectors.
When to Appoint. Because the statute mandates that inspectors of election receive and count ballots, either 1 or 3 inspectors (Civ. Code § 5105(a)(5)) must be appointed early enough in the election process so that ballots can be mailed to the inspectors or to a location designated by the inspectors. (Civ. Code § 5115(b)(2).) See "Election Timeline."
Insurance. If an association uses volunteer members of the association as inspectors of election, they should first make sure their D&O policy will cover them. Then, they should make a motion recorded in the minutes of a board meeting appointing them as volunteer inspectors. Doing so helps to avoid any issues with the carrier that they fall under the policy.
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