Though it is uncommon, a tie in an election to the Board of Directors can happen. If it does What should be done in that event? As with most attorneys, the answer is “it depends.”
When it comes to meetings and elections in Nevada community associations, they are heavily regulated by the provisions of NRS Chapter 116. In this regard, NRS 116.3109 provides in relevant part that:
Meetings of the association must be conducted in accordance with the most recent edition of Robert’s Rules of Order Newly Revised, unless the bylaws or a resolution of the executive board adopted before the meeting provide otherwise.
If not already addressed in the governing documents, the easiest method to avoid a tie is for the Board to pass a resolution setting forth the process that will be followed. And, if a tie has previously resulted in your community, I recommend that the Board take action to avoid it happening again.
Check the Bylaws:
I always recommend reviewing the community’s Bylaws in advance of any election. That way, the Board can ensure the community’s election is properly structured. In the event of a tie, the Bylaws for some communities may contain the answer. However, this is rare and as most do not address the issue.
Robert’s Rules of Order:
To the extent the community’s Bylaws or a resolution of the executive Board does not already address the issue, Robert’s Rules has that covered. But here again, the Board would have to know the procedure before the election is conducted. That is because Robert’s Rules provides that the Association President would vote to break any tie. Robert’s Rules of Order, Simplified and Applied, Chap. 5, pg. 60 (2nd Ed. 2001). The Association’s President would therefore not vote unless and until a tie occurs. Absent the Board President withholding their vote, a Special Election may become then be necessary.
So, what procedures can a Board institute in the event of a tie? The choice is really up to the Board and what they believe will best fit the needs of your individual community. Some options would include:
- Deem it a Vacancy and Appoint A Member in Accordance with NRS 116.3103.2(c)
- Conduct a Run-off Election
- Coin Flip
Regardless of how your community decides to break a tie, I recommend that the Board take action to pass a resolution before a tie happens. Doing so, will ensure a smooth and orderly process and ensure your community’s governance keeps functioning properly.
If you have questions about elections or drafting a Board resolution to break a tie vote, contact Troy Isaacson at (702) 529-2559.