119 Proxies thrown out of annual membership meeting
A recount of votes cast at the Diamondhead Country Club and Property Owners Association annual membership meeting has been requested by Carl Necaise, candidate for president of that organization. Only two votes separating Necaise from reported winner Donald Laird: 636-638 respectively. The election took place during at the annual membership of the Mississippi NonProfit Corporation.
In the sharply divided race, questions have arisen as to the method and manner proxies were handled. Confusion was added to the already tenuous process of electing officers when the provision to allow “absentee ballots” to the bylaws was supposedly approved at the last membership meeting. The question of the legality of absentee ballots was raised by then Treasurer, Mike Schaefer, now deceased, as to the legality of such ballots. In a legal opinion written on July 7, 2015by attorney William Kulick for the Treasurer, Kulick stated:
“By-Laws Section 3.7 provides that members in good standing may vote “on any matter…which may come before a membership meeting”. Absentee ballots would have to be prepared and voted in advance of the meeting. They would pertain only to matters known in advance—but not as to “any [other] matter” which might come up at the meeting. As such, absentee ballots would not be in compliance with the intent of the by-laws which is to allow every member in good standing to vote for any—and presumably all—matters which arise at the meeting. Absentee ballots are not proxies. Proxies allow the designated holder at the meeting to vote on all matters.
“While on the face of things, absentee ballots seem like a good idea, they only work if the issues are set. Based on the current by-laws, I would argue that absentee ballots are in violation and should not be allowed.”
Reports have surfaced that at least 119 proxies were thrown out in favor of absentee ballots. The recount is scheduled for Wednesday morning June 22.