The ballot counting took place on the 4th of May – over a week after the elections. The witnesses present at the ballot counting included: Mrs. Ingold, Ms. Richmond, Mr. Bogdan and Ellis Levin (the board lawyer.) Since the ballots are not secret, these four individuals were able to see how each unit voted. Here is the voting breakdown:
|% of total votes|
|27 units abstained from voting||17.9|
|36 units voted by ballot||23.8|
|88 units voted by proxy||58.3|
Of the 88 proxy votes, there were only three designated proxy holders: Mrs. Ingold was assigned the majority of the proxies, followed by Mr. Tatera. Mr. Bogdan was the designated proxy holder for two of the proxies.
Two of the ballots were not dated, and were therefore deemed invalid by the board lawyer, Ellis Levin, even though it was pointed out that the date was pre-printed on the ballot. One of these was a vote for Mrs. Ingold, and the other for Mr. Bogdan.
There was one case where a board member voted by proxy on the sign-in sheet, but the proxy was missing. However, this vote was counted. In another instance, a unit owner marked X for six candidates on the proxy form. However, the board member who held the proxy voted for only four candidates, doubling up the votes for a pair of the candidates. Levin ruled to correct the ballot so that all six votes were counted. According to the stated election rules, the ballots should reflect the proxy. Mr. Bogdan argued that the ballots should not be altered after the election, especially by a non-unit owner, but this was overruled by Levin.
The ballot box was missing a lock, and during the count, the accountant found 2010 ballots in the box. This is also the same box that is used for the Christmas fund! As an aside, the Christmas bonuses were disbursed to the building employees by Christmas. Any bonus money submitted by unit owners after Christmas was not given out to the building employees, and was not in the box.
By looking at the voting breakdown, if those units which abstained from voting choose to vote next year, there could be a significant change in the composition of the board. Not voting is not dissimilar to giving up your proxy vote. Similarly, if we conservatively assume that only half of the proxy votes were handed out through intimidation, we can easily elect a board which actually represents unit owners if those unit owners choose not to give up their proxies. Through participation in the elections and board meetings we all have the power to stop the shenanigans we have all been enduring , and make TBN a place we are proud to call home.