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How do you handle proxies that take way rights?

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Our HOA Board recently sent out a proxy for proposed amendments to its governing document. Three questions arise:
(1) The proxy presents check boxes for "Yea" and "Nay votes and then specifies that the failure to designate one or the other would be voted as a "Yea". There is no authorization for such a provision in the governing document. Is this not a violation of one's right to abstain?
(2) The proxy stated that it must be returned prior to the beginning of the meeting. Is this limitation valid in view of the governing document provision that a written proxy given to the Sec. "before or at the meeting shall be allowed."
(3) Where the state statute requires prior notice of meetings including an agenda, can the mailing of a proxy alone which includes time and place but no agenda be construed as constituting the required notice?
Many thanks

Hi Bruce,
Hmm...It sounds like someone wants to win very badly. The last time I checked the parliamentary authority an abstention is considered an abstention. (just checked again. It hasn't changed.) Of course there is no authorization for making an abstention a "yea" vote. No board member has the authority to make it so.

I think you know the answers to your questions. These rodeo boys don't want to follow the rules. It sounds like they are ready for a great stampede and they are going to lead it. So hold on to your hat and be ready to stand up for what is right. Someone with some basic parliamentary knowledge and common sense needs stop this non sense. However, you may need to get some people on your side. I doubt whether they are going to listen to reason. You may need to hire an attorney.

Best wishes and Cheerio!

Little Ben

Question submitted by Bruce on Sep 19, 2013