Secret Ballot Elections

The Davis Stirling Act requires that certain matters be voted upon by secret ballot regardless of any provisions to the contrary in an association's governing documents, including the bylaws, CC&Rs and/or operating rules. These matters include:

  1. The election of directors,
  2. The removal of directors,
  3. Special assessments over 5% of budgeted annual expenses,
  4. Regular assessments over 20% of the prior year's assessments, and
  5. The grant of the exclusive use of common area property to one or more members of the association.

Member surveys do not require voting by secret ballot.

Effective July 1, 2006 every common interest development is required to adopt election rules that comply with California Civil Code Section 5105. These rules must incorporate the relevant language from the association's bylaws and CC&Rs. Failure to adopt election rules may result in an owner contesting an election. Election rules should include the following:

  • Nomination procedures,
  • Qualifications of directors,
  • The method of selecting the inspector or inspectors of election,
  • Any rules for accessing association media or common areas,
  • A description of the secret balloting and mailing procedures,
  • Procedures for uncontested elections, and
  • Procedures for recall elections

An example of Election Rules including the voting procedure can be found on the website:


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