Some community association bylaws or articles of incorporation authorize the use of cumulative voting for the election of directors. Under this type of voting, owners may cast multiple votes for a single candidate. Under standard voting procedures, each owner is allocated one vote per lot or unit. So, if there are 3 positions open on the board of directors, with 5 candidates running, the owner is entitled to cast votes for 3 of the 5 candidates. The ballot would look something like this:
But under a cumulative voting arrangement, I may allocate all three of my votes to a single candidate, like this:
Oregon law authorizes cumulative voting only if provided for in the articles of incorporation or bylaws:
If the articles or bylaws provide for cumulative voting by members, members may so vote, by multiplying the number of votes the members are entitled to cast by the number of directors for whom they are entitled to vote, and cast the product for a single candidate or distribute the product among two or more candidates. (ORS 65.247).
The Washington Nonprofit Corporation Act contains a similar requirement:
The articles of incorporation or the bylaws may provide that in all elections for directors every member entitled to vote shall have the right to cumulate his [or her] vote and to give one candidate a number of votes equal to his [or her] vote multiplied by the number of directors to be elected, or by distributing such votes on the same principle among any number of such candidates. (RCW 24.03.085(4)).
Using cumulative voting, a small group of owners who coordinate their voting efforts may be able to secure the election of a candidate as a minority member of the board. Robert's Rules of Order, however, advises against the use of cumulative voting since
it violates the fundamental principle of parliamentary law that each member is entitled to one and only one vote on a question. (RRO, 11th Ed., Section 46).