ELECTRONIC VOTING – WHY A MOVE AWAY FROM TRADITIONAL PROXIES SHOULD BE EMBRACED

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Over the past few months there has been a significant debate amongst condominium lawyers and management companies as to whether electronic voting is permitted or not.

Electronic voting allows owners to submit a ballot online. It avoids the need for proxies and the myriad of issues that come along with them. As someone who has been chairing condominium annual general meetings for a long time, I am strongly in favor of any system that decreases the need for the traditional proxy. Again, there is nothing in the Condominium Act which says that proxies need to be used for an election.

I have always contended that the best and safest way to run a condominium election is to have owners attend in person and to vote by a traditional ballot. This promotes owners to attend the AGM and to learn more about what is happening at their condominium. It also avoids arguments about whether proxies are valid, and whether the owners who provided the proxies really intended to vote for the candidates that are listed. Electronic voting should only be used if there are owners(s) who clearly cannot make the meeting.

Electronic voting is permitted by the Ministry. I believe the concern is more that it has never been done before, but that is certainly not a good reason not to support the process.

The Ministry proxy form is confusing and not user-friendly. I have been to numerous meetings where the forms have been incorrectly completed, and where owners are confused about the process. I believe in promoting a safer and more user-friendly election process. We are in 2019. Our condominium elections should finally be changing with the times.

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