Proxy voting is allowed, but should be strictly regulated to respect electoral security.
- [States should foster citizen participation in the electoral process by]enabling all citizens to exercise their right to vote through proxy voting, postal voting or e-voting, on the condition that the secrecy and the security of the vote are guaranteed.
- Where systems of proxy or postal voting are used, and where sick people are allowed to vote at home or in hospital, ensuring that these arrangements can withstand attempts at fraud or coercion and do not offend the secrecy of the ballot.
- Nobody should be able to vote on behalf of another person (so-called proxy voting) unless it is defined by law for specific circumstances.
- ...[P]roxy voting is another practice to be discouraged. Legislation should make it clear that every voter’s ballot must be marked and cast individually and secretly.
- Postal voting and proxy voting are permitted in countries throughout the western world, but the pattern varies considerably. Postal voting, for instance, may be widespread in one country and prohibited in another owing to the danger of fraud. It should be allowed only if the postal service is secure – in other words, safe from intentional interference – and reliable, in the sense that it functions properly. Proxy voting is permissible only if subject to very strict rules, again in order to prevent fraud; the number of proxies held by any one elector must be limited.
- [V]ery strict rules must apply to voting by proxy; the number of proxies a single voter may hold must be limited.
- Voting must be individual. Family voting, whereby one member of a given family can supervise the votes cast by the other members, infringes the secrecy of the ballot; it is a common violation of the electoral law. All other forms of control by one voter over the vote of another must also be prohibited. Proxy voting, which is subject to strict conditions, is a separate issue.
- Proxy and absentee voting provisions should be designed to encourage the broadest possible participation, without compromising electoral security.
- It is difficult to justify the use of proxy voting, particularly where postal, early or mobile voting is available. Should a legal framework provide for proxy voting, then the reviewer of the legislation should point out the concerns this raises with regard to the principle of secrecy of the ballot and the potential it creates for abuse.