QUESTION: What happens if just before they count the ballots someone points out that one of the candidates is not qualified? Isn't it the management company's responsibility to verify candidate qualifications? Do they just eliminate those candidates or do they invalidate this election and start over?
ANSWER: It is not the management company's responsibility to verify candidate qualifications unless the board specifically assigns that task to the company. However, once a candidate's qualifications have been challenged, the Inspector of Elections must investigate and make a decision as to whether a candidate is qualified. (Civ. Code §5110(c).)
A New Election? Whether the election proceeds or not would also be a decision for the Inspector to make. Normally, the election would proceed. If there are three open seats and one disqualified candidate out of five, the Inspector could (and should) proceed with the election. If there are three disqualified candidates out of five, the election could still proceed with the two qualified candidates being elected and a third person appointed by the board to the empty seat. The decision to proceed or start over would be a judgment call that factored in the circumstances surrounding the disqualifications, the cost of another election, the availability of candidates, etc.
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