Q&A: Voting Out Loud

Q. Our association stated that in compliance with the Radburn Bill, all votes must be read aloud giving the unit number and the vote. Is this mandatory now?

                           —Wishing to Remain Silent

A. “The Radburn Bill does not impose any requirement that votes be read out loud giving the unit number and the vote,” says attorney Matthew Z. Earle, a partner in the Hackensack law firm Kates, Nussman, Ellis, Farhi & Earle, LLP. “In fact, the Radburn Bill does not address the issue of a secret ballot whatsoever.

“The Radburn Bill (N.J.S.A. 45:22A-45.1, et seq.) is an amendment to the Planned Real Estate Development Full Disclosure Act. It imposes certain requirements on all community associations in New Jersey relative to election and bylaw amendment procedures. Among other things, the Radburn Bill provides that: (1) certain nominating procedures be used for board elections; (2) all unit owners who meet the statutory criteria for good standing be permitted to run for and vote in board elections; (3) absentee ballots be used under most circumstances; and, (4) bylaws can be amended provided that less than 10% of the unit owners vote to reject provided that proper notification procedures are followed.

“The Radburn Bill may impact community associations differently depending on what a particular community association’s governing documents provide. Therefore, it is important to consult with association counsel to ensure that your community association is in compliance.

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