Election 2020

HACH 2020 Annual Meeting and Election

The 2020 HACH Annual Meeting and Election will be held Thursday August 20, 2020 at 7pm via a Zoom Webinar.

Details are below, but the important thing to note is that this year’s election will be done entirely with absentee ballots. These ballots need to be either mailed to or dropped off at the HACH office. The election will be for five open board positions and the approval of two proposed CC&R changes (allowance for small trailers, and allowance for chickens.)

Important Dates:

Thursday July 14, 2020 5:00 PM - Deadline for board candidates to have their nomination forms and campaign statements in the HACH office

Thursday August 6, 2020 – Candidate forum (via Zoom Webinar) Start time in the evening, TBD

Friday August 14, 2020 – Voted ballots requested to be in the HACH office. This date is important to be able to have an election result on the date of the annual meeting

Thursday August 20, 2020 7:00 PM – Annual Meeting called to order (via Zoom Webinar)

Thursday August 20, 2020 7:15 PM – Voting deadline for ballots to be in the HACH office.

Candidates and Issues

[Click Here for the list of board candidates and issues]

Election Process

Normally we have the annual meeting and corresponding election in May at the Cedar Park Middle School. Unfortunately, due to the COVID-19 situation and the related governmental social distancing guidelines we were unable to use the school and we are unable to meet in person. The board looked at various alternatives and decided that the only practical solution is to hold the election by mail and hold the annual meeting online via Zoom.

The annual meeting and election will occur Thursday August 20. As in years past, about three to four weeks before the meeting, homeowners will receive their voter packets. The packets will be mailed to the contact address we have for each property in the association. For most properties the contact address is the same as the property address. The contact address may be different if the owner has requested legal communications be sent to an alternative address – this is the case for most non owner-occupied properties. The contact address is the same address we mail the annual assessments to, so if you received your bill successfully, you will get the voter packet to the same address. If you had difficulty getting your bill, contact the office so we can update our records.

Since the actual meeting will be online, you will not be able to conveniently pick up your voter packet (and ballot) during the meeting. In order to vote, you must have your ballot prior to the meeting on August 20. If you haven’t received your ballot prior to the candidate’s forum on August 6, contact the office.

The voter packet will contain the official notice of meeting, an absentee ballot, and the candidate statements for those running for the board. Explanations of the proposed changes to the CC&Rs will also be included.

Shortly after you receive your election packet and ballot, we will be holding a candidate forum over Zoom. The specific details are still being worked out, but the idea is that everyone will receive their election packets, be able to read the candidates written statements, and then be able to attend a candidate forum where the candidates can make a verbal statement and answer questions. The candidate forum will be on August 6, so save the date. After the forum people should mark and sign their ballots and either mail or hand deliver them to the HACH office.

In order to be able to get all the ballots counted and have a result during the meeting, we are asking that all ballots be received in the office by Friday August 14. While ballots will be accepted in the office up to 7:15PM on Thursday August 20th (fifteen minutes into the actual meeting), if more than a handful of ballots come in on the 13th or 14th, we risk a very late meeting or even not having the election results tallied that night. Note that postmarks do not count: voted ballots must physically in the office by 7:15 PM on August 20, 2020.

Ballots

In past years we have included proxies in the election packet and homeowners had the option of returning the proxy in advance or attending the meeting and exchanging the proxy for a ballot, which was voted at the meeting.

Since we are doing vote by mail this year, the election packet will contain an absentee ballot instead of a proxy. Absentee ballots will count as quorum for holding the meeting itself and will count as voting quorum for the issues printed on the ballot. Absentee ballots will not count as voting quorum for issues not printed on the ballot.

Homeowners still have the right to vote by proxy. The deadline for proxy voting is the same as above for absentee ballots.

Ballots will be pre-printed with the property address and account number. Each property will receive one ballot. If you own more than one property in the association this will be a slight change as historically if you owned three properties, you would get one ballot that counted as three votes – for those owning multiple properties you will have to vote each property separately.

As in past years, ballots are not secret. Ballots are kept on file for one year after the election, allowing for an easy audit to the election results if required.

Counting Process

Ballot Arrival

As ballots arrive in the office, the office staff will look up the property address on the voter list and mark that the property has voted. If the property has already voted, the ballot will be set aside as an exception for later review. The ballot will be placed in an “Uncounted” box.

Ballot Batches

Ballots will be counted in batches by one or more counting teams. Batches will be counted between the requested ballot return date (August 14) and the date of the meeting (August 20). The last batch(s) will be counted at 7:15 on August 20 by a single counting team. As noted above if too many ballots come in at the last minute, we may not complete the counting until late in the night or the next day. Please return your ballots by August 14.

Counting Teams

A counting team consisting of a “Reader”, “Counter”, and “Observer” takes a batch of ballots out of the Uncounted box. The reader reads out loud the votes marked on the ballot and the counter tallies the votes on a tally sheet. After reading the ballot, the reader initials the ballot and places it in a “Counted” pile. When done counting the batch, the counter totals the tally sheet. The reader, the counter, and the observer sign the tally sheet. The counter then attaches the sheet to the corresponding ballots and places the batch of ballots with the tally sheet in the “Counted” box.

The Observer observes the overall process.

Note that this method of team counting with a tally sheet is the same mechanism we have historically used to count ballots at the annual meeting.

Counting Rules

For the CC&R issues you will be able to vote “Yes”, “No”, or “Abstain”. If the ballot is not marked it will be considered an “Abstain”. Once quorum is obtained, a CC&R change requires at least 75% of those voting on the issue to vote “Yes” for the change to be enacted. An “Abstain” vote excludes the ballot from counting as “voting on the issue” (for that specific issue.)

For the Board positions you will be able to vote for up to five candidates OR you may vote for “None of the Above”. Once quorum is obtained, a candidate must receive more than 50% of those voting for directors to be elected. A vote for “None of the Above” counts as “voting for a director” in terms of calculating the required 50%. An invalid vote (blank ballot, voting for more than five directors, or voting for a director in combination with “None of the above”) is treated as an abstention and does not count as “voting for a director”.

Ballots must be signed. If a ballot is not signed, it will not count toward quorum nor toward the issues on the ballot.

Final Tally / Results

After the final batch is counted, Association counsel will total the tally sheets, calculate the number of votes necessary for each issue, and announce the results. Counsel will be present in the online meeting to make the announcement.

Becoming a Candidate

If you wish to run for the board, you need to be a property owner in the Association, and you need to be nominated by ten other property owners.

A nomination form is available from the office or may be downloaded here:  The names of people nominating a candidate must be filled out on the form.

Traditionally, you needed to get signatures from those nominating you, but with COVID and social distancing you can alternatively provide a copy of an email or other written communication, stating that you have been nominated. The person nominating you must also provide their Association property address and a phone number or an email address that can be used to validate the nomination.

The form also asks for your candidate statement. Candidate statements will be printed in the voter packet that is mailed and will be placed on the association web site. The rules for candidate statements are as follows:

  • Candidate statements can be a maximum of 500 words.
  • A headshot photo showing only the candidate may be included. If included it will be placed on the web site, but not printed in the election packet. Photos will be scaled to approximately 2x2 inches.
  • Other than the photo, no other graphics or images will be allowed. The default HACH website font and size will be used for all candidates.
  • Candidate statements may contain a single URL, which will be set up as a link.
  • The candidate statements will be posted on the website at the same time (or as close as technically feasible).
  • Once posted and printed, candidate statements may not be amended.
    • If a candidate desires to withdraw, we will not be able to update the printed ballots, but we will post a notice of withdrawal on the website.
  • At the bottom of each candidate’s page there will be a disclaimer that “The information was provided by the candidate and content on any linked site is not managed or monitored by HACH” or similar.

Completed nomination forms and the supporting nominations must be received by the office by July 14, 2020. The office will send a confirmation that the nomination has been received and post the name of the candidate on the HACH website in order within 2 business days.

Board Member Expectations

Represent the homeowners of the Association. Board positions are “at large” and do not represent specific areas of the Association

Determine community standards and related policy with regard to how the CC&Rs are interpreted and enforced

Attend the monthly board meetings

Approve building permits

Abide by the HACH Code of Ethics