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Nonprofit Law/Counting of Ballots


FOG is a California Mutual Benefit Corporation ( Federal: 501(c)(7).
The President of our group had ruled the next election the ballots are to be counted in secret. Only the results will be given to the membership.
The actual count will not be released.
FOG has a very long history if unfair elections, for the last twenty years the person who prints the ballots got custody of the mailed in ballots. He  would open them and keep them overnight. He insisted this speeds up the counting, and that he would not look at or replace the ballots.

I have in my profile that this free forum is only for general questions about IRS federal exemption issues of 501(c)(3) organizations. Your matter is controlled by state law and states may differ somewhat with how they would treat such issues. Even though this forum is not for such state law issues, I will give you some leads. starting at section 5002 is the California Nonprofit Corporation's law and specifically starting at 7110 is the law for Nonprofit Mutual Benefit Corporations. 7521 provides that bylaws may have rules for elections.  Therefore, I would assume that your bylaws do not address the issue that you raise (counting ballots). Therefore the President's decision is effective unless and until the Board of Directors overrules the President's decision. That power is granted to the Board by 7210 which provides that "the activities and affairs of a corporation shall be conducted and all corporate powers shall be exercised by or under the direction of the board."

If the Board does not overrule the President. 7614 provides:
--- Start of excerpt ---
 (a) In advance of any meeting of members, the board may
appoint inspectors of election to act at the meeting and any
adjournment thereof. If inspectors of election are not so appointed,
or if any persons so appointed fail to appear or refuse to act, the
chairman of any meeting of members may, and on the request of any
member or a member's proxy shall, appoint inspectors of election (or
persons to replace those who so fail or refuse) at the meeting. The
number of inspectors shall be either one or three. If appointed at a
meeting on the request of one or more members or proxies, the
majority of members represented in person or by proxy shall determine
whether one or three inspectors are to be appointed. In the case of
any action by written ballot (Section 7513), the board may similarly
appoint inspectors of election to act with powers and duties as set
forth in this section.
  (b) The inspectors of election shall determine the number of
memberships outstanding and the voting power of each, the number
represented at the meeting, the existence of a quorum, and the
authenticity, validity and effect of proxies, receive votes, ballots
or consents, hear and determine all challenges and questions in any
way arising in connnection with the right to vote, count and tabulate
all votes or consents
-- End of excerpt ---

If the President does not comply with the request for inspectors then the members would have recourse to a court. 7527 provides:
--- Start of excerpt ---
 An action challenging the validity of any election, appointment or removal of a director or directors must be commenced within nine months after the election, appointment or removal.
-- End of excerpt ---

Harvey Mechanic
Attorney at Law

P.S. This response is intended to be a general statement of law, should not be relied upon as legal advice and does not create an attorney/client relationship. For me to consider your individual situation and how the law applies, I would need to gather more information.

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Harvey Mechanic


DO NOT GIVE ME INFORMATION THAT YOU WANT KEPT CONFIDENTIAL. I am an attorney and I volunteer time to answer general questions about U.S. Federal income tax issues of nonprofit 501(c)(3) public charities only. Those questions could be about establishing and maintaining legal requirements for such non-profit organizations in the United States, including Internal Revenue service filings and requirements. I will not be working on this free forum to answer questions about Nonprofit's possible unrelated or for-profit businesses or how to fill out forms. This forum is only for general questions about federal tax law, not as the law applies to your specific situation. If you do not make your question public then I will not be spending much of my donated time on answers that would not benefit the public. If you have other questions, please contact me at I will reply from my email. In any case, do not reveal confidential information to me until after I have contracted with you to provide personal legal services. My responses on this forum are intended to be general statements of law, should not be relied upon as legal advice, and do not create an attorney/client relationship. For me to consider your individual situation and how the law applies, I would need to gather extensive information about the situation. To search my previous answers you can do a Google search by "" without the quotes and then add your search terms before hitting enter.


I have been practicing law and especially the law of nonprofit organizations since 1990 when I was admitted to the New York Bar and I have maintained my status with the Bar since that time.


B.S. Columbia University in New York City, 1970

J.D. (Law Degree) Brooklyn Law School, 1990 -- Cum Laude.

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