Making the Switch to E-Voting: A Primer for Condominium Associations
In 2015, the Florida Legislature adopted Section 718.128 into the Florida Statutes, thereby giving condominium associations the right to conduct elections and other unit owner votes via online voting systems. While many associations in Florida have implemented online voting systems for their elections and other unit owner votes, some associations are still contemplating making the switch.
A unit owner that casts an electronic vote via online voting system pursuant to Section 718.128 is counted as being in attendance at the meeting for purposes of determining a quorum. As such e-voting makes unit owner voting more convenient and accessible. If your association is considering implementing an online voting system, the association must comply with the requirements set forth in Section 718.128.
Typically, an association will contract with a third party vendor to administer the online voting system. The statute requires that the voting system have the capability to: (i) authenticate a unit owner’s identity; (ii) authenticate the validity of the vote; (iii) transmit a receipt confirming that a vote has been cast through the system; (iv) store votes, accessible for purposes of recount, inspection and review of; and (v) permanently separate any authentication or identifying information from the electronic election ballot when used for elections. Associations must also obtain prior written consent for e-voting and provide unit owners with the right to opt out of e-voting after giving consent.
To implement an online voting system, Section 718.128 requires that the association’s Board of Directors authorize e-voting through a board resolution. This requires 14 days’ prior written notice to unit owners of the meeting at which the resolution will be considered. The resolution must provide that unit owners receive notice of the opportunity to vote through an online voting system, must establish reasonable procedures and deadlines for unit owners to consent, in writing, to online voting, and must establish reasonable procedures and deadlines for unit owners to opt out of online voting after giving consent.
To review the all of the statutory requirements of Section 718.128, Florida Statutes, please visit The Official Site of Florida Legislature.