Question: In a recently held general assembly, the chairman handed out post-it notes and asked the owners to write their unit number along with 5 members of their choice to the board of directors. ( CA comprises 5 members). This is the first time I've seen anything like this happen. Usually, the owners will vote only for those candidates they consider suitable to hold a position on the board, whether they may be one or whatever number up to 5. But not necessarily 5 in this case. is the chairman's action acceptable? If not, can we ask for a new vote be taken by secret ballot.
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Irregularities noted at a meeting of co-owners do not make the decisions taken non-existent, but voidable. Consequently, the co-owner who intends to invoke the irregularity of a decision must initiate a legal proceeding, in accordance with article 1103 of the Civil Code of Quebec. Wishing to promote the stability of the decisions taken by the assembly, the legislature allows such a remedy to be brought only in certain circumstances. Thus, any co-owner may ask the court to annul or, exceptionally, modify a decision of the meeting of co-owners if it is partial, if it was taken with the intention of harming the co-owners or in disregard of their rights, or if an error occurred in the calculation of votes.
The right to vote is a founding principle of democracy. Citizens of a democracy can express their will in a ballot. In principle, this right is equal amongst all voters. Practically speaking, it is equivalent to the «one person, one vote" rule, which means that every vote has the same weight. However, co-ownership derogates from this principle, namely in that the number of votes held by the co- owners is in direct correlation with their rights of ownership in the immovable. An overview of the various aspects of voting in General Meetings of co-owners.
Co-owners must make decisions that are essential for the life of their co-ownership, which cannot be adopted by the board of directors without their consent. To this end, the meeting of co-owners brings together the co-owners or their representatives, at least once a year. In this context, the taking of these decisions is subject to a strict framework. Meetings of co-owners make decisions by taking a vote. Any proposal submitted for adoption must be voted on to become a resolution. Without being exhaustive, two voting procedures are set out in article 351 of the Civil Code of Quebec: a show of hands or, upon request, a secret ballot. The choice is predicated upon competing objectives of simplicity or confidentiality in the decision making process.