Voting – Texas

Q

Our association is in the process of voting on a change to our CC&Rs. At the annual meeting there was not a quorum but they took the proxy votes of those that sent them in and scheduled a second meeting which occurs today during the middle of the work day. In between the first meeting and this one those in favor of the proposition asked for and got a list of those who had already voted as well as HOW THEY HAD VOTED in order to go door to door and encourage those who haven’t voted to do so.

I can see the benefit of knowing how had not voted, but I don’t think it’s anyone’s business how people voted. Our association manager says this is required under Texas’ new transparency laws.

Is this correct? This seems like a gross violation of privacy and opens the process up to intimidation. Thanks.

- Wayne

 

A

The 2011 Texas Legislature did indeed pass laws that impact the way in which elections and voting are held in property owners associations. Here are the relevant sections that address your question:

 

Sec.A209.0058. BALLOTS. (a)Any vote cast in an election or vote by a member of a property owners association must be in writing and signed by the member.

Sec.A209.00594. TABULATION OF AND ACCESS TO BALLOTS.
(a) Notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter or any other law, a person who is a candidate in a property owners ’ association election or who is otherwise the subject of an association vote, or a person related to that person within the third degree by consanguinity or affinity, as determined under Chapter 573, Government Code, may not tabulate or otherwise be given access to the ballots cast in that election or vote except as provided by this section.
(b)AAA person other than a person described by Subsection (a) may tabulate votes in an association election or vote but may not disclose to any other person how an individual voted.
(c)AANotwithstanding any other provision of this chapter or any other law, a person other than a person who tabulates votes under Subsection (b), including a person described by Subsection (a), may be given access to the ballots cast in the election or vote only as part of a recount process authorized by law.

 

According to the above provisions, only during a recount are owners permitted to access ballots unless an owner is part of the tabulation process during the initial voting process.

 

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