08/03/2019 at 9:13 am #36199
We have an Extraordinary General Meeting coming up soon in our Sydney block of 36 with just the one meaningful, highly contentious topic on the agenda to approve a By-Law for a renovation.
I want my vote to count, but for various reasons I don’t want to 1. go to the meeting, 2. give my vote as a proxy to anyone else or 3. give my vote to the Strata Manager. I would consider giving it to the Commitee Secretary, but do not want to discuss anything and hence don’t know if he already has one proxy which would rule him out.
The NSW Office of Fair Trading just told me by phone (after a wait fo 2o mins at 8:35am!) if our strata has approved electronic voting, which it has, I can simply email my proxy to the Strata Manager without assigning it to a particular. The conversation was quite jovial and casual and to be blunt I don’t trust this advice.
Can I email my vote to the SM as suggested, please?08/03/2019 at 9:24 am #36201
If you were in the ACT, what you describe would be ‘an absentee vote’, which is quite distinct from appointing a proxy to vote on your behalf. Our strata Act provides for both. Could it be that your ‘proxy’ appointment form actually functions as an absentee voting form if there is no person named as proxy?
I would check with the strata manager that they agree with the advice you received from Fair Trading. If so, you could go ahead with your intended absentee vote in expectation that the manager will advise the chair of the meeting that yours is a valid vote, should that be necessary.08/03/2019 at 11:26 am #36202
Hi, It doesn’t sound easy, and I wouldn’t leave my vote wafting around like that if I wanted a vote to be counted the way I wanted things to go. I would really trying to find a like minded owner neighbour who doesn’t mind acting as a proxy. Maybe also make a friend! Good luck!08/03/2019 at 11:42 am #36204
So, does NSW have a correct and proper formal means to lodge an ‘absentee vote’ as can be done in the ACT?
Here in the ACT, we don’t have a form precisely specified by regulation as, I think, is the case in NSW. However, a meeting notice must include proxy and absentee voting forms. In practice the two functions can be conflated on a single form. The layout of the form our OC uses lets an owner appoint a proxy, with or without directing their vote on some, none or all of the listed motions or the owner can indicate their absentee vote as yes, no or abstain on the listed motions without appointing a proxy. The difference between an absentee vote and a directed proxy appointment is that the proxy can also vote on any unlisted procedural motions or motions to amend a listed motion.
In principle, I could appoint a proxy to vote on my behalf as they see fit except for one motion where I might direct my proxy to vote a particular way on the form. On occasion, I have voted twice one way, for myself and as a proxy, then voted the other way as proxy for someone else since that is how I was directed.08/03/2019 at 6:07 pm #36214
Thanks Sir Humphrey and BonnieL.
I’m now told a ‘voting paper’ could have and should have been included along with the agenda since we’ve gone electronic. There was a proxy form but no voting paper.
If there was that voting paper, it could be sent in on it’s own unaccompanied by a human 🙂
In the absence of of the voting paper I will be permitted to use the proxy form unassigned to a human and just send it on in 🙂
One wonders how far he process can be trusted. And how close the vote is likely to be.08/03/2019 at 6:46 pm #36221
There are specific regulations for “other” forms of voting and pre-meeting electronic voting (Regulations sections 14 and 15) , with the common factor that they must be agreed on and established before the meeting at which they are to be employed.
But to answer the original question, in NSW you could theoretically send a blank proxy form and ask the strata manager to fill in the name but this would be such an abrogation of your responsibilities I wonder why you would do it to begin with.
Better to abstain than vote blindly, and with the new regulations about quorums, the presence of your vote will make no difference as to whether or not.the meeting can proceed.14 Other means of voting—owners corporation and strata committee
(1) An owners corporation or strata committee may, by resolution, adopt any of the following means of voting on a matter to be determined by the corporation or committee:
(a) voting by means of teleconference, video-conferencing, email or other electronic means while participating in a meeting from a remote location,
(b) voting by means of email or other electronic means before the meeting at which the matter (not being an election) is to be determined by the corporation or committee (pre-meeting electronic voting).
(2) Without limiting subclause (1) (b), the other electronic means of voting may include requiring voters to access a voting website and to vote in accordance with directions contained on that website.
(3) If a matter may be determined partly by pre-meeting electronic voting, the notice of the meeting must include a statement that the relevant motion may be amended by a further motion given at the meeting after the pre-meeting electronic voting takes place and that consequently the pre-meeting vote may have no effect.
(4) A motion that is to be determined wholly by pre-meeting electronic voting may not be amended at the meeting for which the pre-meeting electronic voting is conducted.
(5) A motion that is to be determined partly by pre-meeting electronic voting must not be amended at the meeting for which the pre-meeting electronic voting is conducted if the effect of the amendment is to change the subject matter of the original motion.
(6) If a motion that is to be determined wholly or partly by pre-meeting electronic voting is amended at the meeting for which the pre-meeting electronic voting is conducted, the minutes of the meeting distributed to owners must be accompanied by notice of the change and a statement setting out the power to make a qualified request for a further meeting under section 19 of the Act.11/03/2019 at 12:11 pm #36270
In NSW you can ‘instruct’ your proxy to vote a certain way. The proxy form you received should make this clear.
Since the by-law you are concerned about will be a ‘special resolution’ the minutes will (should) record the vote of each lot and you can then check that your wishes were carried out.