For years we have encouraged associations to consider colored paper for voting forms. It makes them easy to spot and provides additional security against claims of stuffing the ballot box. Having survived more than a few challenges, in and out of Court, to claims of invalid Amendments, the single most effective way to defend these cases is to be able to establish how the votes were cast.
We know many of you have documents which provide for the vote to be secret so here are our suggestions which we believe provide the best protection for the Association while safeguarding privacy.
1. Use colored paper to distinguish between ballots and proxies.
2. Don’t use blue for ballots every time – mix it up.
3. Assign each ballot a random number (having no relationship to address or other personal information of an owner) and record that number on the master list of attendees for that meeting.
4. Maintain the list of attendees and the ballots/proxies in separate sealed envelopes.
5. Keep all the documents related to separate meetings or votes, notices enclosures, agendas for at least five years.
If this method is used no one helping with the count will know how any particular person voted because they will not have the secondary list which links ballot number to owner. Secrecy is maintained but should a challenge come the tools necessary to recreate the vote are also available.