The election 
“If you present good government, then elections look after themselves.
—Jay Weatherall

“With what's going on with this election? I've never seen anything like it, You stab somebody and the newspapers say, 'You didn't do it.' And you said, 'Yes I did, I did it! This is the only election in history where you're better off if you stabbed somebody. What are we coming to?”
—Donald Trump
(describing the back-and-forth between Ben Carson and reporters trying to verify the story of his rise from poverty to acclaimed surgeon, including a claim by Carson that the person he'd tried to stab had been saved by his belt buckle.)

Elections are the heart of a non-profit corporation.

Election of directors
The owners shall elect the board of directors in accordance with the Act and the corporation's by-laws.

Notice of candidates
The notice of a meeting to elect one or more directors shall include the name and address of each individual who has notified the board in writing of the intention to be a candidate as of the fourth day before the notice is sent.

Notice of owner-occupant position
If one position on the board is reserved for voting by the owners of owner-occupied units, the notice of meeting shall include a statement that
one position on the board is reserved for voting by owners of owner-occupied units and a statement indicating which persons have notified the board in writing, as of the day before the notice is sent, that they intend to be candidates for the position on the board reserved for voting by owners of the owner-occupied units.

You will need to ask the manager for a copy of the register of owners so you can get in touch with all the absentee owners. You need to ask for this about six weeks before your expect the AGM to be held.

You will need a team of owners—if you can recruit a team—to help you canvas the owners, mail pamphlets to the out-of-town owners and stay in touch with the owners throughout the length of the campaign.

Then on election day, you need a couple of volunteers to help you phone your supporters to get the vote out.

I strongly suggest that you volunteer to assist a candidate in the next municipal and provincial elections. You will learn a lot by participating in a professional election campaign.

Deal making
If there are two directors to be elected, you need to team up with another credible candidate. By supporting each other, you both gain strength.

However, at times during the campaign, far more than you will expect, you will have someone ask for something in return for their support. It can be as innocent as the owner asking that you improve the housekeeping or have a broken door-opener in the garage repaired. Those are easy promises to make.

However, an owner may say that if you want his vote, you must help him get the condo's landscaping contract or you must agree to hire a relative as a cleaner.

This is when you must say no.

The registration desk opens usually a half hour or so before the owners' meeting is due to start.
(However registration actually started when the manager started collecting proxies a few weeks earlier.)

Usually one or more employees from the management office accept the proxies, register the owners and hand out ballots. They use a current copy of the owners' register to insure the persons are registered owners and that their fees are paid up.

They will also accept payment for fees that are in arrears.

Some candidates have concerns that the management employees may engage in proxy fraud. If you have good reasons for believing this is possible, you need to inform the chair prior to the start of registration and ask for a neutral party to assist management in scrutineering the registration process.

If you have serious concerns about election fraud and you doubt the chair's ability to rule impartially—prior to the AGM—you can make an application to the courts for the appointment of a retired judge to oversee the election.

(Only do this if you have obtained the advice  and assistance of a lawyer experienced in condominium law as it will be expensive.)

During the meeting, the chair will open up the meeting for nominations from the floor. This is the last chance for a person to run for election.

Any person who is entitled to vote may nominate one or more candidates. The nomination does not require seconding. A person nominated may decline at any time.

A person who is not present at the meeting may be elected or appointed if the person consents in writing to act as director before the meeting or within ten days after the meeting.

Nominations may be closed by a motion to close nominations. The motion must be seconded. The owners then vote on the motion.

Usually the chair allows each candidate two minutes to speak to the owners.

A few owners may have waited until after hearing the candidates speak before making their selection but the speeches are silent to the signed proxies that often make up the majority of the votes.

The chair asks for two or three owners to volunteer to count the ballots and proxies. The property manager usually assists the scrutineers.

A candidate cannot compel the chair to accept a specific individual but the owners and the chair have the power to discharge and replace a scruitineer at any time.

Lack of training
The scrutineers never get any formal training in their duties and are almost never selected before the meeting so they do not observe the registration process. Yet this is where suspicion of election fraud is most likely.

The scruitineers almost never examine the ballot box prior to balloting. At one west-end Toronto condo election, prior to balloting, the ballot box fell on the floor and a pile of marked ballots fell out.

Any candidate who suspects that election fraud is possible needs to have a neutral, trained and observant owner act as a scrutineer on his or her behalf.

Scrutineer duties
The scruitineers are responsible to:
Report in detail on meeting attendance.
Collect, examine & tabulate the proxies.
Collect, examine & tabulate the ballots.
Report in detail & return all proxies & ballots to the chair.

The scruitineers shall check the persons present and the proxies against the shareholder's register and check the proxies for any special instructions or limitations.

Questioning proxies
The scrutineers cannot question a proxy that appears to be genuine and valid. Any questionable proxy or ballot must be brought to the chair for a ruling on its eligibility. The chair's decision can only be overturned by the courts.

Any voter has the right to challenge proxies and ballots and should do so to the chair. Objections to the proxies must be made at the meeting, otherwise the the objector may be deemed to have waived any irregularity.

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