The Council of Neighbors and Organizations (CONO) is experienced in conducting neighborhood elections. CONO may be called upon to answer questions regarding procedures, proxies, voting rights, etc. and to oversee various aspects of the voting process.

This outlines the services that CONO can provide for neighborhood elections, covering everything from the smallest, informal neighborhood group, to associations governed by state law (Colorado Common Interest Ownership Act) and the Non Profit Act. It can provide advice or help for all steps in an election.

CONO CAN:

  • assist in determining and/or establishing your election requirements
  • assist with the nominating committee process
  • assist with the design of your proxy to ensure it meets current requirements
  • be an overseer of the proxy collection, verification and recording process
  • assist with the language of a ballot issue to ensure voters have a clear understanding of the issue
  • provide oversight of ballot distribution, counting and certification

 Contact CONO to discuss what assistance can be provided to help with your election.

DETERMINING YOUR REQUIREMENTS

 Your association may be an informal neighborhood group without any operating guidelines, a mandated HOA, or a full-fledged non profit organization under the laws of the State of Colorado. In any case, it must be determined whether it operates under by-laws, legal mandates, or something less formal.

 NOMINATING COMMITTEE for CANDIDATES

 Many formal are required to appoint a nominating committee to prepare the list of candidates to appear on the ballot. The committee must be impartial in selecting those candidates they feel would best serve the interests of the association. The ballots are then prepared with those candidates appearing. During the election however, nominations from the floor are acceptable, unless otherwise noted in the by-laws, and can be written in on the ballot. All contested positions for the executive board should be taken by secret ballot unless otherwise directed by your documents.

PROXY DESIGN

 For formal associations, elections are typically held at the mandatory annual meeting. With the announcement of the annual meeting, typically 30 days prior, a proxy should be included. This proxy gives the assignee the power to vote in the stead of the absent voter. An assignee generally can NOT be the board as a body, but rather a specific person, including an individual member of the board. The proxy form must follow specific guidelines that CONO can review and ensure are incorporated.

Proxy COLLECTION, VERIFICATION AND RECORDING

 Proxies are usually collected prior to the actual election, and CONO can act as an impartial receiver of proxies by having members return them to CONOs office for verification and recording. They should be handled as carefully as a ballot. A proxy shall not be valid if obtained through fraud or misrepresentation.

 ISSUES ON THE BALLOT

 Occasionally there will be an issue, or a modification to the association documents, that requires a vote by the general membership. This vote is typically taken at the annual meeting. Any vote on a matter affecting the community should be conducted according to the governing documents. CONO can assist with preparing the language of the issue to ensure voters have a clear understanding.

 BALLOT DISTRIBUTION, COUNTING AND CERTIFICATION

 To ensure a fully transparent and democratic process, the proper handling of ballots is critical. Efforts must be taken to prohibit forged ballots, to ensure correct distribution of ballots, and to have accurate counting and certification. Ballots should be counted by a neutral third party or by a committee of volunteers. The volunteers should be owners who are selected or appointed at an open meeting, in a fair manner, by the chair of the board or another person presiding. The volunteers shall not be board members. CONO can assist with ensuring the counters are qualified (i.e. members who do not appear on the ballot) and non-biased, that an accurate count was conducted, and that questionable votes are adjudicated in the fairest manner possible. CONO can also provide the necessary instructions to the responsible party for the required certification and archiving.

Election Services

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E-mail: info@cscono.org

Office Telephone: 719-471-3105

Office Fax: 719-471-3168

Address: 309 S. Cascade Ave, Colorado Springs, CO 80903

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