Q&A: Voting by Proxy

Q. At a regular monthly meeting of a seven-member HOA board, where four members present constitute a quorum, can one of the absent members give her proxy to one of the four attending members to vote on specific issues on the board’s agenda?

                          —Invested Shareholder

A. “No. Board members cannot vote by proxy,” says attorney Nicki Fernandez Asmer with FL Legal Group, based in Tampa. “Chapter 720 of the Florida Statute, also called the Florida Homeowners’ Association Act, specifically provides that directors may not vote by proxy or by secret ballot at board meetings. The only time that secret ballots may be used is in the election of officers. Board members may participate at board meetings through telephone or other remote methods of communication (Skype or other video conferencing). While not specifically authorized in the HOA statute as it is for condominiums, I am of the opinion that a director may legally participate in board meetings through telephone, real-time video conferencing, or similar real-time electronic or video communication. Participating remotely at board meetings is legally treated the same as if the director were actually present at the meeting. Just be sure that those board members that participate remotely can hear and be heard at the meeting.”          

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