. Because ballots are mailed out 30 days in advance of the annual
meeting and since most voting is now done through the mail before the meeting,
there is very little opportunity for owners to meet candidates. Accordingly, some associations schedule a "Meet the Candidates" forum
either before or shortly after the ballots are mailed to the members.
This does not violate the restriction on using association funds for campaign
purposes since the forum is not an advocacy for any particular candidate but,
rather, an opportunity for members to meet all candidates and hear their
position on issues facing the community.
. There is nothing in the law requiring a "Meet the Candidates" forum.
Nominees are not required to campaign for office. As a result, associations may dispense with the forum if the the election is uncontested. In addition, associations may want to amend their documents to dispense with balloting in uncontested elections
. If the association chooses not to host a forum, there is nothing preventing the candidates from organizing one and reserving a common area meeting place
at no cost to the candidates.
Format of the Forum
. In the event a forum is held, the format is entirely up to the hosting party. The following formats seem to be most common:
1. Statements Only
. In this format, the association serves finger foods or wine and cheese and each candidate makes a statement (or short speech) as to why members should vote for them. Once finished, the candidates then mingle with members and answer questions. This keeps everything casual and friendly.
2. Questions & Answers
. This format allows each candidate to make a statement as to why members should vote for them and then takes questions from the audience. Sometimes this can become heated and confrontational.
3. Written Questions Only
. So as to avoid verbal jousting between candidates and members, Some associations will take written questions from the audience and then have each candidate give a brief response to the question.
: Associations needing legal assistance can contact us
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