Adams Stirling PLC


Beginning January 1, 2020 and moving forward, the timeline for director elections has been extended. Elections can no longer be done in 60 days. Boards of directors and inspectors of election should expect them to take from 105 to 120 days. Previously, everything could be calculated from the annual meeting date. Now, dates are based on the next act in the election sequence.

ELECTION CALCULATOR. To help board members, managers and inspectors of election more accurately calculate the timeline for conducting elections, use our Election Timeline CalculatorNOTE #1: Check dates on the calendar to avoid mailings on weekends and holidays and don't space your deadlines too tightly or you may miss deadlines. NOTE #2: Election rules cannot be amended less than 90 days prior to an election. (Civ. Code § 5105(h).)

Select a date for the voting deadline. It should be at least 105 days after you plan to mail the nomination procedures and deadline. You may need to adjust the voting deadline date at the end of this process or restart with an earlier nomination procedures mailing date. Most associations have the voting deadline on the same date as the ballot counting meeting/annual meeting, but some count ballots at a later meeting.

At least 30 days before deadline for nominations, send general notice (individual notice, if requested) of nomination procedures and deadline. (Civ. Code § 5115(a).) Associations cannot disqualify a person from nomination if the person has not been provided an opportunity to engage in internal dispute resolution. (Civ. Code § 5105(e).)

Recommendation: Select a mailing date at least 105 days before the voting deadline. Select a deadline for submitting nominations at least 30 days after the mailing date. For mailed nominations, election rules may require actual receipt by the deadline or may require a postmark by the deadline with actual receipt some number of days later.


The statutes specify no time frame to select an inspector of elections, except that the inspector must be selected before the pre-ballot notice (next step).

Recommendation: Select an inspector 70 to 75 days before the proposed voting deadline to be safe.

(for Director and Recall Elections only)

Per Civil Code § 5115(b), at least 30 days before the ballots are distributed, send a general notice (individual if requested) including:
    • Date, time, and physical address to mail or hand-deliver ballots to inspectors
    • Date, time, and location of the ballot counting meeting
    • List of candidates to appear on the ballots (a list of names of candidates, not the candidate registration list).

Recommendation: Select a mailing date about 5 days after the nomination deadline. This allows time to receive mailed nominations (especially if you are requiring postmarks) and update the ballots. Note that some associations have ballot-counting meetings after the voting deadline.


 At least 30 days before the ballots are distributed, permit members to verify the accuracy of their information on the candidate and voter lists. At an undefined time thereafter, the association or member must report errors or omissions. The inspector of elections must then change and correct lists within two (2) business days of any error or omission being reported. (Civ. Code § 5105(a)(7).)

Recommendation: By statute, the right to verify the lists begins in the same time frame as the “candidate list” must be distributed as part of the pre-ballot notice. So, the verification period should begin at least upon the members' receipt of the pre-ballot notice. The association should also have a voter list available during the verification period based on the information available at any given time. Election rules should provide that reports of any errors or omissions be made early enough to allow for changes and corrections to be made before the ballots are distributed. 40 days before the voting deadline should be adequate.


At least 30 days before the deadline for voting and at least 30 days after the preballot notice was sent, the inspector or inspectors of election, or the association, must mail by first-class mail or otherwise deliver the ballots and two preaddressed envelopes with instruction on how to return ballots to each member of the association. (Civ. Code § 5105(g)(4).) Recheck the voting deadline date now to be sure you have enough time. If not, readjust to allow more time. In the same time frame, the inspector or inspectors of election must deliver or cause to be delivered the election rules. (Civ. Code § 5105(g)(4).) Such rules may be delivered (1) by individual delivery (Civ. Code § 4040) or (2) by posting the rules on an internet website and including the website address (URL) on the ballot with the phrase, in at least 12-point font: "The rules governing this election may be found here:" Ballot envelopes received by the inspector must remain sealed until counting begins, but they may be logged in.

Recommendation: Because Civil Code § 5105(g)(1) requires the association to provide a ballot to anyone who is a member "at the time when ballots are distributed," a completely accurate voter list cannot be determined before the date ballots are distributed. Therefore, associations should finalize and maintain a copy of the voter list as of the date ballots were distributed.

1. Establish quorum (not necessary if bylaws amended to eliminate quorum requirement).
2. Meeting called to order.
3. Call for any additional casting of ballots and then close balloting (if voting required at the meeting).
4. Inspectors open and count ballots.
5. Results announced; also posted within 15 days.
6. Board holds an organizational meeting to elect officers.

The sealed ballots, signed voter envelopes, voter list, proxies, and candidate registration list shall at all times be in the custody of the inspector of elections or at a location designated by the inspector until after the tabulation of the vote, and until the time allowed by Section 5145 for challenging the election has expired, at which time custody shall be transferred to the association. If there is a recount or other challenge to the election process, the inspector shall, upon written request, make the ballots available for inspection and review by an association member or the member’s authorized representative. Any recount shall be conducted in a manner that preserves the confidentiality of the vote. (Civ. Code § 5125.)

NEW ELECTION RULES: Beginning January 1, 2020, all associations are required to adopt election rules compliant with the above election requirements. 

ASSISTANCE: Associations needing legal assistance can contact us. To stay current with issues affecting community associations, subscribe to the Davis-Stirling Newsletter.

Adams Stirling PLC