If you cannot attend the annual meeting for a homeowners association but you still want your vote to count, then voting by proxy might be for you! The planned community act allows a member of most homeowner’s associations to appoint a proxy to vote (or take any other action) for that member at a meeting (though this provision of the planned community act does not apply to all homeowners associations). The best way to appoint a proxy is to sign and date a form designating someone else to vote in your place at the meeting. If your proxy appointment form is not signed or dated, then it is invalid. An appointment is valid for eleven months, unless a shorter duration is specified on the appointment form. In addition, the form appointing a proxy will not be valid until it is received by the secretary (or other officer or agent of the association authorized to tabulate votes). At the meeting, the person that you appoint as your proxy will be able to use their own discretion on how to vote, unless your proxy appointment form directs them to vote a certain way.
A common question that comes up with proxies is what happens if you decide to attend the meeting where you appointed someone else your proxy? Will you be able to vote in person at the meeting or did your appointment of a proxy waive your right to vote at the meeting? Generally, the answer to these questions depends on whether or not you made your proxy irrevocable. If you don’t know whether or not you made your proxy irrevocable, then you did not. To make a proxy appointment irrevocable, you need to conspicuously state on the form that the appointment is irrevocable and some sort of value must be exchanged. If both of those steps were not taken, then the proxy appointment is revocable. If your appointment of a proxy is revocable (and it probably is), then attending a meeting and informing the person running the meeting will revoke the proxy. Then, you can vote in person at the meeting.
Another common question is what happens if I change my mind about appointing a proxy? If you do not want to appoint anyone as your proxy, then you can sign and deliver a notice revoking your proxy to the person running the meeting. Then your previously proxy appointment will be revoked, and no one (other than yourself) will be able to cast your vote at the meeting. If you have more questions about how to vote by proxy at a homeowner’s association meeting, then contact one of the community association attorneys at Black, Slaughter & Black!