How common is election fraud?
“There are three things in the world that deserve no mercy, hypocrisy, fraud, and tyranny.”
—Frederick W. Robertson

As some condo owners have learnt, rigged elections gives us all three; hypocrisy, fraud and tyranny.

Too bad condominium election fraud wasn't a felony

Board elections are manipulated by board presidents and directors who do not want to lose power and by property managers and lawyers who have no desire to lose cash-cow accounts.

How common is rigging elections?
Hard to tell. After all, it is not something people openly brag about and the condo industry magazines are not going to print articles on "Five Effective Ways to Rig a Condo Election". However, I know that election tampering is far more common than I first thought and it is at third-world levels at many condo corporations in Ontario.

When Florida appointed America’s first Condominium Ombudsman, one task he had was to appoint election monitors to conduct board of director elections. Preventing election misconduct and manipulation was seen as a priority.

In his book, Condo Board Election RevoltValmore Lucier listed 50 different ways condo elections in Florida were tampered with. I have not come across that many tricks but after talking with condo owners here in the Greater Toronto Area and reading their AGM packages, I have complied a fairly impressive list.

Election fraud in our society
Election fraud
can be a serious concern in:
• political party riding associations
• political elections
• trade union elections
• corporate director elections
• non-profit corporations
• social club elections
• voting for music awards
• hosting the Olympic games
All of the above examples have been tainted by election fraud.

Elections—inexperienced owners
Here is one example of many outrageous election frauds committed by board of directors and the property managers at condo meetings.

At the first AGM after the turnover meeting, there was an election for all three directors. This is a condo corporation that has both commercial and residential units. The builder's lawyer chaired the meeting.

The Act calls for one director, the owner-occupied position, to be voted by only the owner-residents and the other two positions voted on by all the owners. Therefore, there should be two elections; one for the director elected only by the owner-residents and a second election for the other two directors.

This is important because the vast majority of the resident-owners were unhappy with the builder's board and wanted a change.

However, the owner-residents didn't realize that there should be a separate election for owner-occupied position that only they could vote for.

The chairman (a prominent condominium lawyer) and the property manager distributed only one ballot to elect all three directors and so the builder, by using his commercial units votes and all the absentee owner proxies, retained total control of the board.

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