Becker & Poliakoff

“Candidates May Vote For Themselves” – News-Press

“Candidates May Vote For Themselves” – News-Press

Q: My condominium association has a five-member board of directors. At our upcoming annual meeting, there will not need to be an election as there are three open seats and three candidates. However, the question has arisen as to how to conduct the organizational meeting to be held following the annual meeting where the board will elect its officers. We understand that for the election of the officers, the board would be the ones who vote and that a board member would have to make a nomination to nominate someone for a particular office. That nomination would have to be seconded, and then the members of the board would vote. However, a question has come up as to whether the member nominated for a particular office can vote for themselves when the vote of the board members is taken. Can you please clarify? (P.A., via e-mail)

A: Yes, the member nominated for a particular office has the right to vote for themselves. Nominations do not require a second.

There is no limitation on a board member’s ability to vote for themselves in the appointment of officers, typically a president, a vice president, a secretary, and a treasurer. Additionally, the election of officers by the board is the only time board members are permitted to vote by secret ballot, as stated in Section 718.111(1)(b) of the Florida Condominium Act.

Therefore, at your organizational meeting, every director has the right to vote for anyone nominated for a particular office, including themselves.

Q: At our recent condominium association election, three seats were open, and six candidates were running. For the third seat, the vote was tied between two candidates. How do tie-breakers work? (G.K., via e-mail)

A: Rule 61B-23.0021(10)(c) of the Florida Administrative Code states that when two or more candidates for the same position receive the same number of votes, which would result in one or more of the candidates not serving on the board or serving a shorter time period, the association shall hold a run-off election unless the bylaws provide otherwise.

The board must deliver notice of the run-off election within seven days of the meeting, and the run-off election must be held no less than 21 and no more than 30 days after the original election date.

Some bylaws provide that tied elections will be decided by random chance, such as flipping a coin, or that the run-off will be held only if the candidates cannot agree amongst themselves who gets the seat.

Q: I am the manager of a small condominium community and am getting ready to mail the ballots and paperwork for the board election. To put it politely, one of the candidates is well known for disagreeing with many people and many decisions. The resume she included to send out with the balloting contains many very harsh statements about current and past board members, calling them out by name. I am not a lawyer and don’t know if they would be considered slander, but they are very mean and, in my opinion, inaccurate. Is there a rule on this? (V.L., via e-mail)

A: The law allows every candidate to provide a “candidate information sheet” at least 35 days before the election. The content of the candidate information sheet must be limited to one side of an eight-and-one-half-inch by eleven-inch sheet of paper.

Section 718.112(2)(d)4a of the Florida Condominium Act states that the association is not responsible for the document’s contents. Rule 61B-23.0021(7) of the Florida Administrative Code states that the association may not edit, alter, or otherwise modify the document’s content.

Therefore, I believe that any libel (the technical term for written defamation) would be the candidate’s risk, not the association’s. However, to my knowledge, this issue has not been decided in the appellate courts.

Joe Adams is an attorney with Becker & Poliakoff, P.A., Fort Myers. Send questions to Joe Adams by e-mail to Past editions may be viewed at