POLYAS Election Glossary

We provide explanations and background information on elections, voting rights and digital democracy

Proxy Voting

Proxy voting means having someone else cast your vote for you. The person voting on your behalf is called the ‘proxy’, and acts as an ‘agent’ for the person whose vote is to be cast, the latter of whom is the ‘principal’.

In UK parliamentary elections, voters are only eligible for proxy voting under specific circumstances. Examples include, being away on election day and having a disability or medical issue.

In some forms of voting, such as voting at shareholder meetings, proxies can be either ‘general’ or ‘limited’. A general proxy is empowered to vote freely on any matter which arises at the meeting, whereas a limited proxy is only allowed to vote on certain matters which arise, or must vote in a particular way as determined by the principal voter.

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