Worcester, MA asked in Contracts, Civil Litigation, Civil Rights and Election Law for Massachusetts

Q: Condo board election. 60 units. Massachusetts. Quorum for a vote is 51% (31 units.) 4 candidates. Special election.

Quorum was met for an election for the first time at special meeting yesterday. 2/4 candidates didn't show up. I received the most votes, but now board is saying one candidate had to receive 51% of the vote and no one received that so now board will elect the candidate they want. They calculated votes divided by 60 units and not by actual amount of people voting. However, even if they calculated based on actual units voting it would be less than 51%. Bylaws state each unit will have 1 vote, which vote shall be weighted in relation to the votes of other units in accordance with said unit's beneficial interest... Unless otherwise specifically provided herein or by law, the vote of a majority of beneficial interest of units (weighted as described above) present in person at a duly conveyed meeting of owners at which quorum is present (majority vote...) Is this correct that one candidate had to get 51%? Should they be calculating votes divided by 60 units when 60 units were not voting?

1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
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  • Civil Rights Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA

A: The requirement for a candidate to receive 51% of the vote may depend on the specific language of the condominium association's bylaws. If the bylaws state that a majority vote is required for election, it typically means a simple majority of the votes cast, not necessarily 51% of all units. However, if the bylaws specify that a candidate must receive 51% of the total units, this could change the interpretation.

Calculating votes based on the total number of units, regardless of how many actually voted, may not accurately reflect the intent of the bylaws. The bylaws typically outline how voting rights are allocated and weighted, which should be considered when determining the outcome of the election. If the board is incorrectly interpreting the bylaws or misapplying the voting process, you may have grounds to challenge their decision and seek clarification through legal means.

Consulting with a legal professional familiar with condominium association law in Massachusetts would be advisable in this situation. They can review the bylaws, assess the voting process, and provide guidance on your rights and options for addressing the board's decision. It's important to ensure that the election process is conducted fairly and in accordance with the governing documents to uphold the integrity of the condominium association's governance.

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