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.
The owners shall elect the board of directors in accordance with the
Act and the corporation's by-laws.
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.
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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.
The scruitineers are responsible to:
Report in detail
on meeting attendance.
& tabulate the proxies.
& 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.
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