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Election Proxies

With every election over the past few years, our system of using proxies has come under scrutiny. A proxy consists of a ballot signed by the Shareholder, on which their voting preferences are stated. The purpose of a proxy is to enable people to vote when they cannot do so in person. Reasons to use a proxy include disability, health, employment or being out of town.

The use of proxies lends itself to abuse, most notoriously in cases where candidates were discovered to have picked up signed proxies from Shareholders and filled in the votes themselves. This was done, allegedly, with the Shareholders' consent — but it should be clear why such a practice is dubious. The issue is made still more suspicious when a rule in effect for the 2003 election allowed Shareholders to submit as many proxies as they liked, with the last one submitted being the one that was counted. Was this done to spare candidates the embarrassment of discovering falsified proxies from the same Shareholder?

Allowing proxies is important to assure that all Shareholders can vote. But in order to assure the credibility of our voting process, we need to approach the use of proxies with far more oversight. Among the suggestions that have reached me are the following:

  • Proxies are to be on an official proxy form.
  • Proxies are to state a valid and verifiable reason for voting by proxy.
  • Proxies are to be sealed by the voting Shareholder
  • Proxies are to have name, address, and telephone number to be used for verification by the election company.
  • Proxies are to be audited by the election company and all proxies that cannot be confirmed or are in any way invalid should be discarded.

The bottom line is that our community, our homes and our investments are on the line. If this doesn't warrant a more judicious process, I don't know what does!

Our Neighbors Are Talking!

Do you think the methods Seward Park has used to collect election proxies are trustworthy?

Data was updated June 15, 2004. This poll is closed.