Proxy voting

Proxy voting is a form of voting whereby a member of a decision-making body may delegate his or her voting power to a representative, to enable a vote in absence. The representative may be another member of the same body, or external. A person so designated is called a "proxy" and the person designating him or her is called a "principal".[1]:3 Proxy appointments can be used to form a voting bloc that can exercise greater influence in deliberations or negotiations. Proxy voting is a particularly important practice with respect to corporations; in the United States, investment advisers often vote proxies on behalf of their client accounts.[2]

A related topic is liquid democracy, a family of electoral systems where votes are transferable and grouped by voters, candidates or combination of both to create proportional representation, and delegated democracy.

Another related topic is the so-called Proxy Plan, or interactive representation electoral system whereby elected representatives would wield as many votes as they received in the previous election. Oregon held a referendum on adopting such an electoral system in 1912.[3]

The United States parliamentary manual Riddick's Rules of Procedure notes that, under proxy voting, voting for officers should be done by ballot, due to the difficulties involved in authentication if a member simply calls out, "I cast 17 votes for Mr. X."[4]

Proxy voting is also an important feature in corporate governance through the proxy statement. Companies use proxy solicitation agencies to secure proxy votes.


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