Q&A: Absent Voter Legislation

Q Is there any legislation in New Jersey concerning “delegate voting” in common interest communities? If so, why was the legislation enacted? What is the distinction between “delegate voting” and “voting by proxy?”

—Curious in NJ

A “There is no pending legislation in New Jersey authorizing, or compelling or suggesting ‘delegate voting,’ which this writer understands to be the membership of a cooperative or condominium electing delegates, who then select members of the board of directors,” says David Byrne of Stark & Stark, a law firm with offices in New Jersey and New York.

“Additionally, I am unaware of any cooperatives or condominiums in New Jersey that are subject to governing documents requiring this.

“Legislation with respect to ‘proxy voting,’ which this writer understands to be the voting by a shareholder or owner by authorizing another to vote on his behalf (general proxy) or directing another to vote on his behalf, in a certain way (directed proxy) at a meeting or vote of the members, is not necessary as New Jersey’s for-profit corporation statute and its non-profit corporation statute expressly permits the shareholder and/or owner to vote by proxy (unless the particular condominium’s governing documents state otherwise). The proxy-related provision of the for-profit corporations act, which relates to New Jersey’s cooperatives, can be found @ N.J.S.A. 14A:5-19. The proxy-related provision of the non-profit corporations act, which relates to New Jersey’s condominiums, can be found @ N.J.S.A. 15A:5-18.” n

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