Effective date: 8/7/2005

    (1) Fifteen percent of the total voting interests entitled to vote at the annual meeting of unit owners for the election of directors, or the owners of six units entitled to vote at the annual meeting of unit owners for the election of directors, whichever number is greater, may petition the ombudsman for the appointment of an election monitor to attend the annual meeting of unit owners for the election of directors and conduct the election of directors. No monitor shall be appointed for a special election, an interim election, a runoff election, an election to fill vacancies caused by a recall of one or more board members, or any election other than the annual meeting of unit owners for the election of directors.
    (2)(a) Form of petition. In order to file a petition for the appointment of an election monitor, a unit owner must complete DBPR FORM CO 6000-9, PETITION FOR APPOINTMENT OF ELECTION MONITOR, incorporated by reference and effective 8-7-05, available by contacting the Department of Business and Professional Regulation, Division of Florida Condominiums, Timeshares, and Mobile Homes, 1400 West Commercial Blvd., Suite 185, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33309-3782, or shall use a substantial equivalent of the form which shall contain the following information. The form must, as applicable:
    1. State that the purpose of the petition is to seek signatures for the appointment of an election monitor by the ombudsman for the annual meeting of unit owners for the election of directors;
    2. Contain a signature space for authorized unit owners or voting interests to sign and must provide a space for those signing the petition to provide his or her name;
    3. Identify his or her unit number;
    4. Supply the date that each unit owner signed the petition;
    5. Provide the name of an individual who is authorized to represent the unit owners petitioning for the appointment of an election monitor, along with the mailing address, telephone number, fax number, and email address of the representative;
    6. Indicate that if a monitor is appointed, the association and all its members shall be obligated to pay the costs and fees of the monitor; and
    7. State the total number of voting interests in the association.
    8. Briefly state the basis for having an election monitor appointed (optional).
    9. State the date, place, and time of the election.
    (b) Only the signatures of those persons who are unit owners of record shall be counted in the calculation to determine whether the minimum number of votes have been cast in favor of requesting the appointment of a monitor.
    (3) Time to file. The petition for appointment of an election monitor must be filed with the ombudsman not less than 14 days in advance of a planned election to provide sufficient time to process the petition, provide for verification of the signatures, and appoint a monitor.
    (4) Once the ombudsman has received a timely filed petition for appointment of an election monitor, the ombudsman shall examine the petition to ensure that all required information is provided and that a sufficient number of voting interests have signed the petition.
    (a) If the petition is deficient, the ombudsman shall provide the petitioners with notice of the deficiencies, and petitioners will have 5 calendar days from receipt of such notice to timely correct the petition, or if the deficiencies cannot be corrected, the petition shall be denied and the materials shall be returned to the unit owners petitioning for appointment of an election monitor.
    (b) Within 5 calendar days of the determination that a petition is complete and sufficient, the ombudsman shall provide a copy of the petition to the association by certified mail, along with a notice that a petition for appointment of election monitor has been filed with the ombudsman. Where the determination that a petition is complete and sufficient is made within 5 days of a scheduled election, the ombudsman shall immediately provide a copy of the petition to the association upon making such determination of completeness.
    (5) Once a petition has been found to be adequate, the ombudsman shall appoint an election monitor as provided by the provisions of Florida Statutes § 718.5012(9), and this rule. Any appointment of a division employee shall be subject to the approval of the division director.
    (6) The appointed monitor shall review any documents provided by the petitioners or by the association in advance of the scheduled election and shall attend and conduct the election in person.
    (7) The monitor shall conduct the election, but where a division employee is appointed as monitor, the employee shall not provide direct advice or suggestions to the association or to individual owners in the course of the election. Each monitor shall submit a report regarding the election to the ombudsman, and to the parties, within 14 days following the date the election is concluded.
    (8) Where a division employee has been approved to be appointed as the election monitor, the division shall prepare an itemized statement of costs and expenses and shall submit the statement and a request for reimbursement to the association along with the monitor’s report. The association shall have 30 days in which to reimburse the division. It shall be considered a violation of this rule for an association not to timely reimburse the division for all costs and expenses associated with the election monitoring process.
    (9) Where a monitor is appointed who is not a division employee, the division will not enforce the billing and collection of amounts owed to the monitor. Nothing in these rules prohibits a private monitor from requiring the association to pre-pay all or part of the reasonable fees and costs of the monitor.
Rulemaking authorized by Florida Statutes § 718.5012(9). Implements Florida Statutes § 718.1255, 718.5012(9). History—New 8-7-05.