Proxy Voting Options

Proxy voting is often used for various reasons to facilitate the participation of members in decision-making processes within organizations. This practice enables individuals who are unable to attend meetings in person to still have their voices heard and votes counted.

Proxy voting is when someone else is allowed to vote on behalf of a voter. The voter gives their voting rights to another individual. This person may be another voter, or it can be someone involved in administration.

The type of your proxy dictates your ballot style and process:

  • Directed Proxy: A voter assigns the proxy to another to vote in a specific and directed way. For example - Voter A gives a proxy to Voter B to vote for Dave for president.
  • Indirect Proxy: A voter assigns the proxy to another to allow them to vote in whatever way they choose. For example - Voter A gives a proxy to Voter B to vote for anyone they choose for president.

For Indirect Proxy votes, we have a built feature you can learn more about here: Proxy Voting Setup.

Setting Up a Vote for Proxy Voting

Depending on your proxy voting process, there are several ways to utilize the ballot to manage proxy voting. Review the below to find the one that meets your Proxy requirements.

Proxy Holders Known in Advance

If you know the proxy holders in advance, there are a few other approaches that can be used to accommodate them. With the below, it comes down to how many notices you want your voters to receive, and the flexibility you need for casting.

  • Multiple Notices - You can have your proxy holders receive 1 notice for each proxy they hold, so the proxy-holder would receive multiple notices and cast a ballot for the number of proxies they hold (their own + one per however many proxies they hold). This can be achieved by allowing for duplicate email addresses in the voter list, so you can list that proxy holder's email address multiple times. This is a great option if the proxy holder has to submit a separate ballot per vote. Please see Allowing Duplicate Voter Contact Information.
  • Proxy Assignment using Weight - If your bylaws note that proxy holders vote all the same way - you can use Weighted Voting — Assigning Multiple Votes Per Ballot to assign the number of proxies that each voter holds. The voter then receives 1 notice and casts 1 ballot, but the number of votes they cast reflects the number of proxies they hold. Please see Weighted Voting.
  • Split Votes for Proxies - If the proxy holder can split their votes between choices, similar to the first option, but you want your voters to receive a single notice like the second option use cumulative voting. You assign the number of cumulative votes to the proxies they hold, the voter receives 1 notice, and then the voter splits their vote on the ballot. For example, Chelsea has 4 votes (3 assigned proxies plus her own votes), she can split those votes 3 to one choice, and 1 to another choice. Please see Cumulative Voting Setup.

Proxy by Email Forwarding

Proxy voting can also be managed by utilizing email forwarding.

  • On the Notices Page of your vote, choose "Email Notices"
  • Choose the "Allow proxy voting"
  • This will update the default email notice text in your email notice to outline "Do not forward this email unless you want someone else to vote on your behalf (voter proxy)"

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The recipient will need to vote twice, once from each of the notices, their own, and from the forwarded notice received. This would allow for the proxy recipient to vote independently from each notice.

Proxy by Email Forwarding With Ballot Tracking

Proxy voting can also be managed by utilizing email forwarding. If you need to know how the proxy voter voted on each of the items, you will want to set the vote to Poll

  • On the Ballot Page, set up your ballot questions as needed for your vote
  • Include a final Ballot Question. Example question below

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  • You can include additional directions in the "Positions and Questions Details" section

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  • On the Notices Page of your vote, choose "Email Notices"
  • Choose the "Allow proxy voting"
  • This will update the default email notice text in your email notice to outline "Do not forward this email unless you want someone else to vote on your behalf (voter proxy)"

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Internal Proxy Vote Form

If your organization traditionally uses a paper-based form for its proxy process, you can use an ElectionBuddy ballot to automate the process of distributing the form.

  • On the Ballot Page, set up your ballot questions as needed for your vote.
  • On Ballot questions voters are allowed to use a proxy, attach a PDF file of your organization's proxy form. Please see: Attaching a File to Positions or Questions

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  • Voters can download, print, and complete this form manually. They can then drop this off at your organization's office, or scan it and email it back to you.
  • Alternatively, if the voters have a PDF editor, they could fill it out electronically and email it back to your organization.

Not all organizations are permitted to offer the ability to invoke a proxy to their voters, so it is recommended that you check your organization's bylaws and constitution to ensure proxy voting is authorized for your voters before proceeding.



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Apr 25, 2024