We leave it up to the Associations that we manage how they want to run their internal affairs and Board. HOA Association law is complex, and here's some insight from Davis-Stirling.com:
Beginning January 1, 2022, associations can declare the outcome of uncontested elections without the need for balloting. Qualified candidates can be elected by acclamation if the following conditions are met:
Seat All Candidates. Some might argue that permissive language in the statute means the board can seat some candidates but not others. In Civil Code § 5103(b)(1)(D) and (E) “may” is intended to modify the phrase “seat the qualified candidates by acclamation without balloting.” Meaning they may seat them by acclamation after a vote to do so, OR, they may send out the ballots despite there being only enough nominees to fill the open seats, when the election results will be a foregone conclusion. But the choice is there because in some cases, a board may want to avoid the process of acclamation and send out the ballots anyway, The word “may” is not intended to refer to whether the board may seat all or only some of the qualified candidates. Neither does subdivision (e) indicate any discretion by the board to choose which qualified candidates may be seated. It mandates that the name of “each qualified candidate that will be seated” be indicated on the agenda, so that the membership knows who their new board will be once election by acclamation is announced.
Amend Election Rules. Associations do not need to amend their bylaws or election rules to take advantage of elections by acclamation. The Davis-Stirling Act allows associations to employ this feature regardless of anything to the contrary in their governing documents. (Civ. Code § 5103.) Even so, boards should, at some point, amend their election rules to include this provision. Doing so will eliminate any confusion by members regarding the propriety of elections by acclamation. When amending documents boards should also eliminate write-ins and floor nominations, quorum requirements, proxies, and cumulative voting. When amending election rules, boards should follow proper amendment procedures.
What's interesting is that for a pretty simple topic, the Internet doesn't really give clear advice. No wonder it's confusing!
Here's another article that seems to write with some authority on the issue.
Makes you wonder if there might even be disparity in interpretations of what that means even in the legal community.
Also, by the way, Inspector of Elections is supposed to be an independent third party and NOT the HOA manager.
If you have some insight with HOA elections.. Let us know how you roll!