If confused about the benefits of electronic voting and use of proxies you are not alone. Some speak of them as if one is a replacement for the other. Both are valid ways of voting at condo meetings and elections. While electronic voting can reduce the need for proxies and make it harder to abuse them, both serve a valuable role in condo elections.
Electronic voting offers clear advantages over traditional paper votes. The greatest benefit is that owners can vote in advance or when not able to attend a meeting without compromising same-day voting results. This can reduce the need for, and possible abuse of, proxies. Electronic voting offers substantial cost and manpower savings. See Avoiding Election Fraud, It’s Time for Online Voting in Condos and No Proxies Required in the Condo Archives for a detailing of benefits.
Proxies have been a source of problems when it comes to voting in condo communities. These problems have been documented in The Dilemma of Quorum, Prevent Condo Fraud by Ensuring Fair Elections, Proxies Discourage Condo Board Participation and Risks of Proxy Voting.
Proxies, despite their problems, are allowed per the Condo Act and considered part of good governance. There are situations where one may choose to vote by proxy. During a meeting matters may come up for a vote. The meeting may include information not provided earlier which require an unscheduled vote. When this happens only those present can participate in the vote including anyone in possession of a valid proxy.
A proxy authorizes an owner’s representative to participate in a meeting. The proxy allows an owner to give full authority to the proxy holder and allows them to vote based on what has transpired at the meeting. It can also provide specific direction to the proxy holder on how to vote on some matters while leaving others to the discretion of the proxy holder. An owner can choose to withdraw their proxy if deciding to attend a meeting.
There is no need to choose between electronic voting and proxies. Both are beneficial to effective governance in condo communities.