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Virtual AGMs and Elections Under the Davis-Stirling Act

In recent years, the adoption of technology in homeowners associations (HOAs) has transitioned from a convenience to a necessity, particularly when it comes to conducting annual general meetings (AGMs) and elections. The Davis-Stirling Common Interest Development Act, which governs HOAs in California, has evolved to accommodate this shift towards digital governance. This blog post explores how the Davis-Stirling Act addresses the use of software and tools for conducting virtual AGMs and elections, ensuring HOAs can operate efficiently and inclusively in the digital age.

Virtual Meetings: A Legal Perspective

The Davis-Stirling Act explicitly allows for virtual meetings, including AGMs, board meetings, and other member gatherings. This flexibility became particularly crucial during the COVID-19 pandemic, when traditional in-person meetings posed significant health risks. The Act's provisions ensure that HOAs can continue their essential operations, such as electing board members and making key decisions, without compromising the safety and participation of their members.

The Role of Technology in HOAs

Software Solutions: To facilitate virtual meetings and elections, many HOAs have turned to software solutions designed specifically for these purposes. These platforms offer features like live streaming, digital voting, and real-time discussion forums, allowing members to participate fully from any location.

Security and Accessibility: When choosing a software platform, HOAs must consider security features to protect members' information and voting integrity. Equally important is ensuring the platform is accessible to all members, including those who may not be tech-savvy.

Conducting Virtual Elections

Transparent and Fair Voting: The Davis-Stirling Act mandates that HOA elections must be conducted fairly and transparently. Virtual election tools can help achieve this by offering secure, anonymous voting options that ensure each member's vote is counted accurately.

Compliance with Governing Documents: While the Act permits virtual elections, HOAs must also review their governing documents to ensure they do not prohibit such methods. Amendments to bylaws or operating rules may be necessary to fully embrace virtual elections.

Responsibilities of the Board

Educating Members: Boards must take an active role in educating their members about the technology being used for virtual meetings and elections. This may involve providing tutorials, FAQs, or live support sessions to ensure all members feel comfortable participating digitally.

Ensuring Legal Compliance: Boards must also ensure that the chosen technology platform complies with any requirements set forth in the Davis-Stirling Act, as well as the association's governing documents. Consulting with legal counsel can help clarify these requirements and avoid potential issues.

The Benefits of Going Virtual

Increased Participation: Virtual meetings and elections can lead to higher participation rates, as members can join from anywhere without needing to travel to a specific location. Efficiency and Convenience: Digital platforms can streamline the voting process, making it easier and quicker for members to cast their votes and for results to be tallied.


The Davis-Stirling Common Interest Development Act's accommodation for virtual meetings and elections reflects a broader trend towards digital governance in HOAs. By leveraging technology, HOAs can ensure greater participation, transparency, and efficiency in their operations. As we move forward, it's clear that virtual platforms will play an integral role in the way HOAs conduct their business, fostering a more connected and engaged community.