Rigging elections is so easy
“Please note that the election at the AGM is not for provincial or federal office.”
—condo management company

Most condo owners do not know how condo elections are suppose to be run so that the elections are fair and reflect their true desires. This ignorance gives the incumbents, the property manager and the Chair the ability to give favoured candidates a big edge.

There are few checks on the election process—outside of a court challenge—and it depends totally on trust. In most condos, only a small percentage of owners attend the owners meetings so only those in attendance, and the candidates, may get a sense that something is wrong.

The owners do not know the meeting rules, the voting procedures, proper wording for the proxies, the scrutineers' duties and how to raise their concerns to the Chair.

The election procedures are unclear
The Condominium Act and its regulations gives little guidance on the procedures that condo elections have to follow.

Additional information is included in the condo's by-laws and can vary greatly from corporation to corporation. Even here, election procedures are very vague or silent.

Nathan's Company Meetings is only slightly more helpful. Rule #1 says the meetings "are governed by the same democratic principles which apply to parliamentary bodies. These principles embody fairness, reasonableness and good faith towards all who are entitled to take part."

One condo owner wrote on his blog:
"While the management staff was collecting the ballots during the 2015 AGM, I approached the corporation lawyer, who was chairing the meeting, and asked him to announce the numbers of votes each candidate received. His answer was plain NO.
When asked which specific section of the Condominium Act” states that he cannot announce the number of votes earned by each candidate, he replied: “The Act is not clear on that issue, and in the absence of any clear details, I have to follow the instructions received.”

Who gave him his instructions, he did not say.

When this owner wrote another complaint to the property management company about the election process, management replied:

“Please note that the election at the AGM is not for provincial or federal office.”

The Chair's power
The chair's decisions are final unless overturned by the courts, an expensive and difficult way to overturn the election results.

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