and Video Courtesy of The Orlando Sentinel
By Ryan Gillespie
July 17, 2017
A group of residents in Poinciana are challenging the
results of a February election in one of the nation’s largest
With its request
for a new hearing denied, the Association of Poinciana
has decided to hold its new election Aug. 1, the group
Last month, a homeowner in the community, Martin Negron,
was able to get the results of the association’s
February election tossed out after an arbitrator ruled
the community’s developer, Avatar, cast thousands of
improper votes for candidates it backed.
Then the association asked for a new hearing from the
state’s Department of Business and Professional
Regulation arguing the arbitrator ruled outside of her
jurisdiction, and that even if the illegal votes weren’t
counted, the election results wouldn’t have changed.
In her order this week, Terri Leigh Jones, said that owners of
undeveloped and unplatted lots must prove how many homes it can legally
build on the property before the owner is issued a ballot.
Jones also said Avatar held such an overwhelming advantage that it's
possible it suppressed voter turnout in the community of about 50,000
between Haines City and Kissimmee.
“It is not possible to know how many homeowners did not cast votes
because they believed that Avatar had an overwhelming advantage,” Jones
Negron filed the complaint after he lost the February election because
he said Avatar cast hundreds of votes for vacant land it still owns in
The arbitrator previously ruled that many of the votes were improper
because the land was underwater or on lands where homes can’t legally be