FAQ's, Cumulative Voting

FAQ's, Cumulative Voting

Q. What is cumulative voting?

A. Cumulative voting is used during the annual board of director election. If there are four director seats up for election, a member will have four votes for each membership she or he owns. S/he may spread his or her four votes among four candidates, or cumulate votes and cast all four votes for one candidate.

Q. I own more than one home in Val Vista Lakes. Is each home considered a membership?

Yes, you have one membership for each Val Vista Lakes home you own, and each membership allows for one vote per open seat.

Q. Do the commercial properties have more than one membership?

A. Most have one membership for their business and an additional membership for each acre of land they own. Some may have 12 memberships or more due to the number of acres they own.

Q. Do they pay for those memberships?

A. Yes, they pay the same fee you pay, which is $87.20, for each membership they own. The two apartment complexes own a total of approximately 109 memberships, and they pay $87.20 for each membership; they have one vote per open seat per membership.

Q. If cumulative voting is no longer permitted in our documents, will the commercial members lose their memberships?

A. No! They will maintain all of their memberships. They will not be allowed to cumulate their votes, the same as you and I will not be able to cumulate our votes.

Q. When is cumulative voting used?

A. Cumulative voting is used only for electing candidates to the board of directors.

Q. Why was cumulative voting put in our governing documents?

A. The developers placed cumulative voting in the governing documents when the community was created in order to maintain control over all community decisions. Once the community was handed over to the Association, cumulative voting was no longer necessary. In fact, it leaves in place the same unfair system that put control in the hands of a few individuals.

Q. I thought cumulative voting was removed from our documents in 2012? I voted for the removal!

A. Our Bylaws and Articles of Incorporation were amended in 2012, but not our CC&R's.

Q. Do we have to change our documents?

A. Arizona Revised Statutes allow associations with cumulative voting in their documents to use this form of voting until it is removed. In 2012 the VVL Board consulted with an attorney in its effort to remove cumulative voting from the bylaws, and members voted by a large majority to do so. The VVL documents state that when there is a conflict between the bylaws (no cumulative voting) and the CC&R’s (cumulative voting), the CC&R’s control. Therefore a change in the CC&R’s is now required. We will be forced to use cumulative voting until this is changed.

Q. Please list the Pros and Cons of cumulative voting.

A. Pros

1. If you prefer to have a minority of voters control the election of directors, then cumulative voting is good for you.

2. We cannot find any other reasons for using cumulative voting.

B. Cons

1. Cumulative voting is in conflict with our democratic/parliamentary voting system of one vote per open seat for each membership.

2. Cumulative voting allows a small number of members to control an election.

3. Cumulative voting dilutes the votes of the members who spread their votes among several candidates who they feel will serve the community well.

4. In VVL elections with 4-5 seats open at each annual election, cumulative voting allows a board candidate to campaign to a small group of people and ask them to cast all four or five votes for that one director.

5. A director who asks residents to cumulate all their votes for him or herself can win with ¼ as many supporters in a typical election with four open director seats. With 100 people giving 4 votes to one individual he/she would prevail over a candidate with up to 399 people supporting them with one vote each.  Therefore, a minority group can control our elections using this form of voting.

6. If a director elected by a minority of voters in a cumulative voting election turns out to be a director who is not working for the community, as long as he/she maintains his/her small circle of supporters, it is extremely difficult for the community to replace that board member with someone who better represents the entire community.

7. Cumulative voting is inferior to parliamentary voting where there is one vote per membership per open seat so every candidate must have a majority of people supporting them in order to be elected.

The "majority rules" system is the "fair" system for everyone.