Adams Stirling PLC


Beginning January 1, 2022, associations can declare the outcome of uncontested elections without the need for balloting. Qualified candidates can be elected by acclamation if the following conditions are met:

  1. The association holds a director election at least once every four years. (Civ. Code § 5100(a)(2).) [The association held a regular election for directors in the last 3 years. (Civ. Code § 5103(a).)]
  2. The number of qualified candidates is not more than the number of vacancies to be elected. (Civ. Code § 5103.)
  3. Notice for submitting nominations is given at least 90 days before the deadline for submitting nominations. The notice must include the number of open board positions, the deadline for submitting nominations, the manner in which nominations can be submitted, and a statement informing members the seats can be filled by acclamation without balloting. (Civ. Code § 5103(b)(1).)
  4. A reminder notice is sent between 7 and 30 days before the deadline for submitting nominations. (Civ. Code § 5103(b)(2).)
  5.  The association provides, within 7 business days of receiving a nomination, acknowledgment of the nomination (i) to the member who submitted the nomination and (ii) to the nominee that they either qualify or do not. If disqualified, the reason for disqualification must be included along with a right to appeal. (Civ. Code § 5103(c).)
  6. The vote by acclamation takes place at a duly noticed meeting with the name of each qualified candidate seated by acclamation on the agenda. (Civ. Code § 5103(d).)

Election Timeline. Use our Election Timeline Calculator to assist in setting deadlines for an election.

Seat All Candidates. Some might argue that permissive language in the statute means the board can seat some candidates but not others. In Civil Code § 5103(b)(1)(D) and (E) “may” is intended to modify the phrase “seat the qualified candidates by acclamation without balloting.”  Meaning they may seat them by acclamation after a vote to do so, OR, they may send out the ballots despite there being only enough nominees to fill the open seats, when the election results will be a foregone conclusion. But the choice is there because in some cases, a board may want to avoid the process of acclamation and send out the ballots anyway, The word “may” is not intended to refer to whether the board may seat all or only some of the qualified candidates. Neither does subdivision (e) indicate any discretion by the board to choose which qualified candidates may be seated. It mandates that the name of “each qualified candidate that will be seated” be indicated on the agenda, so that the membership knows who their new board will be once election by acclamation is announced.

Amend Election Rules. Associations do not need to amend their bylaws or election rules to take advantage of elections by acclamation. The Davis-Stirling Act allows associations to employ this feature regardless of anything to the contrary in their governing documents. (Civ. Code § 5103.) Even so, boards should, at some point, amend their election rules to include this provision. Doing so will eliminate any confusion by members regarding the propriety of elections by acclamation. When amending documents boards should also eliminate write-ins and floor nominations, quorum requirements, proxies, and cumulative voting. When amending election rules, boards should follow proper amendment procedures.

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Adams Stirling PLC