151. Is a secret ballot really secret?

This week, Reena shares a challenge about election ballot papers: does the law require owners corporations to disclose ballot papers, even if the owners who completed them thought that their vote would be kept a secret? We also discuss a surprising aspect of the mediation process, and re-cap one of our favourite topics: the role of the chairperson.

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4 Comments. Leave new

Enjoyed the podcast Amanda.
Criss

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    Thanks Criss for your support. If you have any questions or suggestions, don’t hesitate to post it in the comments section. 🙂

    Reply

I live in Qld. Our body corp has used secret ballots when requested. Secret ballots should always be conducted by a qualified independent third party who should also have access to the entitlement information if that is required. The employment of such a person usually costs money but is worth it if used judiciously. That way neither the SM nor the OC should know who voted in what way. The records should just reveal that the vote was conducted by secret ballot and that company X was employed to conduct the secret ballot and the results were Y.
Regarding the mental health issues of a member .. Unless the mental health has been properly medically assessed it should not be merely assumed that someone has a problem. The perpetrator of tyre slicing etc should not be assumed without concrete evidence. If owners are concerned they have the option to take this matter to the police, and/or install CTV cameras.

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Secret ballots should be conducted by a qualified independent person or company. This is will incur a cost, however it is well worth the money. The independent person should have access to the entitlement records so that these can be used if and when required. Using an independent person keeps the ballot secret. The records of the OC will state that a secret ballot was called, company X conducted the ballot, the results of the ballot are Y. No ballot papers should be retained, and none should be viewed by any OC member or the SM. Regarding the mental health issues …. unless the person has been medically diagnosed with a mental health problem then this should not be merely assumed. No OC member would be qualified to make this assessment. Similarly with the alleged tyre slashing , no OC member should merely assume that a person has undertaken such an act. This would be a police matter and not an OC matter. The OC should not be acting as a vigilante police force, or as a judge and jury. If such acts are taking place then perhaps the OC should gather proof via the installation of a CTV camera and then submit this evidence to the police.

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