As a reminder, Tuesday, November 4th is Election Day, and it is important that you exercise your right and duty as a citizen to vote. We are not voting on just who will be our next President, but there are a number of other initiatives on the ballot that are worthy of your consideration.

The polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Despite the unprecedented number of voters who cast their ballots early, experts are forecasting long lines.

Employees are entitled to take off two hours (under California law) to vote, without losing any pay if they are working during that time period and will not have sufficient time outside of working hours to vote. Employees may take off as much time as they need to vote, but only two hours of that time will be paid. An employee can take time off for voting only at the beginning or end of their regular work shift, unless they make other arrangements with their employer. If an employee believes that they will need time off to vote, they must have notified their employer at least two working days prior to the election (California Elections Code Section 14000).

How Does the Electoral College Affect Voting Results?

While community associations don’t have an Electoral College, they often have cumulative voting. Cumulative voting is not the same as the Electoral College, but sometimes it is just as complicated. Cumulative voting is designed to allow the minority in a community association the opportunity to place their candidate on the Board of Directors.

The Electoral College was established to maintain each individual state’s power. This means that the President of our country, as in 2004, is elected by the Electoral College of State Representatives, rather than a direct vote by all of the individual citizens.

I read an interesting article on the Electoral College. California is not a battleground state. It is considered a “blue” state, and even though it is projected that a significant majority of California voters will vote for the “blue” candidate, the Electoral College has rendered those votes almost meaningless.

Even though California has more electoral votes than any other state, 55, and even though our 36 million population is by far the largest, about 12% of the entire country (or almost 1 out of every 8 Americans), California is considered a nonentity in this Presidential election. Texas has the second-highest population, with almost 8% of the country’s population and 34 Electoral College votes. It is considered a “red” state.

The article by California attorney Mark Neubauer states that this election, “like so many before, will be decided by a handful of far smaller states, such as Missouri, which has less than 6 million inhabitants, under 2% of the population, and only 11 electoral votes.”

He goes on to state, “the reason for this undemocratic election of a democratic President lies in a system designed more than two centuries ago. In its infancy, the United States was a collection of separate state governments, each jealous of the other. To maintain each individual state’s power, they set up a system where the President of our country is elected by an Electoral College of State Representatives, rather than a direct vote by all of the individual citizens. Only Nebraska and Maine divide their Electoral College delegates between the candidates. Margins of victory in individual states become irrelevant if the state is already clearly predicted in one political camp or the other.”

This means that despite California’s millions of voters who will likely vote overwhelmingly for the “blue” candidate, that margin of victory will have no impact on the final decision “compared to the close races in the Midwest and Southeast.” California, Texas and “blue” state New York, with approximately 25% of the nation’s population, are effectively watching this election from the sidelines.

You may download Mr. Neubauer’s full article here.

And all this time you thought that the 2006 amendments to the Civil Code changing the way associations held elections was complicated.

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