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Republicans Allow Half of Central Committee Members to Transfer Voting Power to Proxies

Republicans are trying to back away from the counterproductive Trumpist lie that letting people vote in ways other than in person on the day of the election opens the door to voter fraud. The South Dakota Republican Party is joining that movement by allowing its state central committee members to vote by proxy in their winter meeting:

South Dakota Republican Party, proxy voting form for January 14, 2023, State Central Committee meeting, retrieved 2023.01.03.
South Dakota Republican Party, proxy voting form for January 14, 2023, State Central Committee meeting, retrieved 2023.01.03.

Proxy voting is part of the SDGOP bylaws, so apparently, they’ve been allowing state central committee members to harvest votes from lazier members for years. Note, though, that the SDGOP proxy rules allow no more than half of their members to grant their voting power to proxies, as no attending committee member may carry more than one proxy. Each member who wants to skip the meeting but lend her voting power to someone else must find one unique attendee who isn’t already carrying someone else’s vote.

Republican Congressman Kevin McCarthy has made ending proxy voting in Congress a plank of his troubled bid for the Speakership; he claims “Democrat proxy voting and remote work schemes…have inflicted untold damage to this institution.” Untold—yes, I suppose, since no one can say what real damage has been done.

But perhaps I shouldn’t accede so gently to this bit of Republican vote-rigging. We often hear that elections are won by those who show up. If a voter can’t show up, that voter doesn’t get to speak up.

Even if we accept, as Speaker Nancy Pelosi did during the pandemic, that certain circumstances may arise that make showing up risky, we should still require that the person casting a vote by proxy participate in the process. The U.S. House proxy rules require that members not attending specifically instruct their proxies on how to vote on specific matters. In casting a vote for an absent member, a House proxy is still conveying the absent member’s policy intent. The idea of “one person, one vote” is preserved. The SDGOP’s proxy system allows an absent member to surrender her will and make the proxy one man with two votes. Unlike the Congressional system, the SDGOP’s proxy system reduces the position of the absent member from “I support Policy X” to “I’ll go for whatever Proxy X says.”

But hey, if Republicans want to run their internal elections on a system that lets members sign away their voices and double the voting power of certain attendees, I suppose that’s their business. Just don’t let any Republicans complain to you about letting regular citizens cast their actual votes in actual elections without appearing in person at the polls.


  1. Mark Anderson 2023-01-03 08:37

    Republicans believe that if everyone votes, they lose. From Trump on down they believe that. That’s where the terms “voter fraud”, “election integrity”, come from. It’s surprising it’s used in red states but it is. Its a way of appealing to the victim hood of the baseless Republican. Trump is good at deflecting the “fake news”. It also of course dissolves faith in core of America but what the hay, victory is everything. George Santos is the perfect new Republican. Whatever you want him to be, he is.

  2. grudznick 2023-01-03 20:46

    Mr. H is righter than right on this one. You shouldn’t be able to vote early, or twice, and you need to show up in person at the appointed time and place and prove who you are. grudznick agrees with Mr. H profusely on this one.

  3. grudznick 2023-01-03 23:27

    Remember that fellow, Mr. mike, who was from Iowa but who bragged he had a whole bunch of relatives who were voting twice and thrice through proxy here in South Dakota? Mr. mike, who was from Iowa, is still completely prostrated by the agonies. We all hope for his recovery. And Ms. Monae should go sort out who these relatives are, just as a first step to prove her worthiness. Send her SOS goons, none of whom seem to have been fired, to sort those fellows out.

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