Proxy voting is when someone else is allowed to vote on behalf of a voter. Essentially, the voter gives their voting rights to another individual. This person may be another voter, or it can be someone involved in administration — for example, it is common for a Chairperson at an Annual General Meeting to be eligible to be a proxy for any voters who want to invoke a proxy.
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/constitution to ensure that proxy voting is authorized for your voters before proceeding.
Setting Up an ElectionBuddy Election for Proxy Voting
Depending on your proxy voting process, there are several ways to utilize the ballot to manage proxy voting.
Inclusion of an Internal Proxy Vote Form
If your organization traditionally uses a paper-based form for their proxy voting process, you can use an ElectionBuddy ballot to automate the process of distributing the form.
Design and prepare your ballot question(s) as required for your election.
On one of your ballot questions where your voters are allowed to use a proxy, you can attach a PDF version of your organization's proxy vote form:
Voters can download, print, and complete this form manually. They can then drop this off at your organization's main 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.
Email Forwarding and Tracking Proxy Votes via the Ballot
Proxy voting can also be managed in a different process by utilizing email forwarding. This diminishes the need for paper forms.
Set up your ballot as required.
Include a final ballot question, designed similarly to the one below:
Be sure to include additional question information, such as the following below:
Proceed to the "Notices" page of your election setup, and choose "Email Notices".
With email notices selected, additional options will appear. Choose the "Allow proxy voting" option:
This will cause new default text to appear in your email notice template that encourages the forwarding of the email notice to a proxy if the voter would rather have a proxy than vote for themselves.
What if You Know Your Proxy Holders in Advance?
If you know who the proxy will be assigned to in advance there are three ways you can handle this:
You can add the proxy holder's contact information for the person who gave the proxy. The person who holds the proxy will receive an email for their own vote and an email for their proxy.
If the proxy holder can assign the vote however they like, you can enable weighted voting. This means you can make their vote worth as many proxies as they hold. For example, let's say John gave his vote as a proxy to Bill, Bill would now have a weighting on two in the voter list. This means that your voters will only get one email to vote.
If the proxy holder needs to be able to assign the votes as they see fit, but you only want them to receive one email, you can use the cumulative voting system where voters can split their votes.