Hybrid voting system in Leisure World?
Whether by design or chance the Golden Rain Foundation (GRF) and Mutual 15 (M15) have combined to mutilate Leisure World’s election process. On May 22 M15 mailed ballots to residents that instructed them to; “Vote for no more than seven (7) candidates by putting an “X” next to their names” (there are nine (9) candidates). Fourteen days later, on June 4, M15 mailed a “REMINDER” informing residents that voting was on a cumulative basis and that; “Each voter may cast SEVEN (7) votes per candidate, up to the number of director seats available.” (“REMINDER” is a misnomer. There’s nothing in the May 22 mailing that even hints at cumulative voting.)
Leisure World’s voting has been turned into a hybrid system. If resident Smith voted before receiving the “REMINDER” he probably did not vote cumulatively.
If resident Jones voted after receiving the “REMINDER” she may have voted cumulatively. So, Smith could give his favorite candidate only one (X) while Jones could give her candidate Seven (7) votes! How do you squeeze a fair election out of a system so fundamentally unfair?
Also mutilating the election process is GRF’s creation of a mysterious category of candidates. Civil Code Section 5105 requires that association candidates, such as Leisure World candidates, have access to their association newspaper. However, GRF denies both Leisure World and public candidates that access, while insisting that GRF is still complying with the Civil Code.
So, how is that compliance demonstrated, what category of candidates are granted access to Leisure World’s newspaper? It’s a mystery!
Also on M15’s ballot is a vote for new bylaws. Before approving these bylaws, residents should be aware of how Section 8.2(b)(v) combines with Section 8.6 to allow the Directors to replace a resident’s vote with a Director’s vote! That’s tragic, a resident’s vote should mean something.
So, how should Leisure World residents respond to this election mess? Should they accept the consequence of Smith and Jones be able to vote under different ground rules?
Should they be active and express their feelings to the GRF President or Executive Director or be passive and let the chips fall where they may? What would they tell their children to do in a like circumstance?