This article originally appeared on Lash Condo Law’s blog.
The Voting Process-Electronic Voting
Now that condo corporations are doing virtual meetings, many managers, board members and even condo lawyers, are asking questions about how voting works with virtual meetings.
Let’s remember that prior to the pandemic, electronic voting was being used as a form of voting by many condo corporations that adopted the electronic voting by-law that was introduced in November 2017 when the Condominium Act was amended.
Virtual Meeting Platforms
It is the virtual meeting platform (such as Zoom and GoToMeeting) that was introduced more recently and is now being offered by service providers to host owners meetings. The virtual meeting platform is used to conduct the meeting, allowing motions from the “virtual” floor through “virtual” hand raising and permitting owners to participate by muting and unmuting them during portions of the meeting.
The “voting” part of a virtual meeting is not done through the Zoom or GoToMeeting platform.
Compliant with the Virtual Meeting and Electronic Voting By-law
There are very specific requirements for holding an election and voting electronically. Those corporations that have a virtual meeting and electronic voting by-law, should ensure that the voting process they are following meets the requirements in the by-law.
Elections should always be by secret ballot and there should be encrypted links to ballots to ensure that only the owner that has the email link votes and that the votes are secure and private.
What about Proxies?
There is a whole lot of confusion with proxies. If you are doing electronic voting, you should not need any proxies unless an owner does not have an email address. Any owner with an email address can vote securely and easily, through a click on a ballot and therefore, a proxy is not needed.
Are Electronic Proxies Needed?
If your corporation is doing electronic voting and an owner can vote electronically, then there is no need to complete an electronic proxy. Why would that same owner fill out an electronic proxy allowing someone else to vote for them electronically? Makes no sense.
Electronic Voting Tips
- Make sure you ask for electronic voting to start ahead of the meeting. My experience is that when you start right when notice goes out, you will have no problem achieving quorum for the meeting
- If there are nominations from the floor, make sure that owners who previously voted can change their vote.
- It is important for all owners to be given the right to vote right up to the close of the vote at the meeting, whether they attend the virtual meeting or not.
- Electronic votes count towards quorum- so quorum is achieved well ahead of the meeting if you start your electronic vote early on.
Remember to ask the right questions when you start booking your AGM. Understanding the process will go a long way towards making your first virtual meeting and electronic voting experience a success.