Can votes be rejected, by the Chairperson, after the close of the meeting?
The short answer to this question is no.
If the votes cast are valid at the time of the meeting and have been counted towards the results of each of the motions, they cannot be rejected by the Chairperson following the meeting and then not counted towards the motion results.
In this months adjudicators order, an order was sought by the applicants that minutes circulated following their AGM, being inaccurate and not reflective of the votes cast at the meeting, be amended to reflect votes cast and results declared at the AGM – along with other items.
The adjudicator reviewed all material provided with the application and the submissions made by the Committee and other owners within the scheme and noted that the AGM Minutes circulated to the owners following the meeting stated that there were a number of voting papers that were counted towards the vote count in error but that this was not picked up until the reconciliation of the vote count.
In this months adjudicators order, the adjudicator reviewing the application has noted:
“the business of a general meeting notified to owners is, in the ordinary course of events, expected to be transacted at that meeting and that every owner is informed of their right to vote on that business and given opportunity to participate in the meeting. Owners (or their properly authorised representatives) who participate in a meeting are entitled to be informed whether their right to vote is restricted or if their vote has been rejected and the reason for the rejection. If their vote is not rejected at the meeting, they are entitled to believe their accepted vote has been counted. Owners are also entitled to rely on the declared result of voting on meeting business. The minutes must be a full and accurate record of the meeting including the chairperson’s declared result of voting at the meeting”
It was further noted that a vote may be invalidated and/or the declared result of voting at a general meeting may be altered by an adjudicators order made under the dispute resolution provisions of the Act.
The adjudicator ruled that the committee did not have the power to reject votes cast at the AGM after the close of the AGM and granted the order sought that the minutes of the AGM must record the votes cast, not record any statement, corrected voting result or other information in relation to any reconciliation of voting papers and that a copy of the minutes that complies with this order be given to each lot owner.
The full order can be read here.
More information on the role of the Committee here.