[Editor: This article was not authored by AFA.]

There is a serious problem with the way many legislative districts have been abusing proxies at party leadership elections. Here is why: 

PROBLEM:

 

It is problematic that under current conditions, the path to leadership in many districts is NOT phoning, precinct walking, providing input at meetings, testifying at committee hearings, preaching the gospel of conservatism via conventional and social media, or any of the usual and customary PC endeavors. Under current conditions, the path to leadership in those districts is to be the slate that recruits the highest number of unscrupulous PC’s who are willing to become PC’s for the sole or main purpose of providing proxies for a handful of individuals with agendas suspect at best, and detrimental to Republican principles at worst.

 

However noble the practice of allowing proxies at political party elections may have been initially, it is clear that it has been abused and corrupted to the point that those PC’s who want to do the right thing find it increasingly difficult to justify remaining active within the LD system.

 

As a result, many districts are in great danger of having their hardest workers and staunchest supporters of conservative Republican principles seek to engage elsewhere rather than prostitute themselves into the unethical practice proxy harvesting.

 

SOLUTION:

 

Run a bill aimed at stopping the use of proxies at political party elections. While this will not be a magic bullet that will solve every problem, it will move us considerably in the right direction.

 

Even in instances where proxy harvesting, misuse and abuse are not happening, there are powerful reasons for prohibiting the use of proxies in connection with political party votes. Here are three:

1. THE AZ LEGISLATURE DOES NOT ALLOW THE USE OF PROXIES

Here is a copy of House Rule 14:

RULE 14 - VOTING 

A. All motions may be determined by a voice vote, teller, or on request of two members by a roll call, and by declaration of the result by the Speaker or designated member; provided that the voice vote shall not apply to Third Reading and Final Passage of a bill, resolution or memorial.

B. No member shall be permitted to vote unless present in person to cast his vote.

C. No member shall vote for another, nor shall any person not a member cast a vote for a member. In addition to such penalties as may be prescribed by law, any member who shall vote or attempt to vote for another member may be punished in such manner as the House may determine. If a person not a member shall vote or attempt to vote for any member he shall be barred from the floor of the House for the remainder of the session and may be further punished in such manner as the House may deem proper, in addition to such punishment as may be prescribed by law.

2. PROXY HARVESTING HAS A LOT IN COMMON WITH BALLOT HARVESTING

Last session the AZ state legislature voted overwhelmingly in favor of HB2023, which ended the unethical practice of ballot harvesting. The proposed bill will end the unethical practice of proxy harvesting.

 

3. ROBERT RULES OF ORDER ON THE USE OF PROXIES

"Proxy voting is not permitted in ordinary deliberative assemblies unless the laws of the state in which the society is incorporated require it, or the charter or bylaws of the organization provide for it. Ordinarily it should neither be allowed nor required, because proxy voting is incompatible with the essential characteristics of a deliberative assembly in which membership is individual, personal, and nontransferable. In a stock corporation, on the other hand, where the ownership is transferable, the voice and vote of a member is also transferable, by use of a proxy. But in a non-stock corporation, where membership is usually on the same basis as in an unincorporated, voluntary association, voting by proxy should not be permitted, unless the state's corporation law - as applying to non-sock corporations - absolutely requires it". [RONR (11th ed.), pp. 428-29.]

SAMPLE LEGISLATIVE BILL

The proposed bill could look like this:

AMENDING SECTION 16-828, ARIZONA REVISED STATUTES; RELATING TO USE OF PROXIES BY POLITICAL PARTIES

  

(TEXT OF BILL BEGINS ON NEXT PAGE)

 

Be it enacted by the Legislature of the State of Arizona:

Section 1.  Section 106-828, Arizona Revised Statutes, is amended to read:

16-828.  Proxies

A. A political party may choose, through its bylaws, to allow the use of proxies at its meetings, in which event the following shall be minimum regulations:

1. No proxy shall be given by a member of the state committee for use at a meeting of the committee except to a qualified elector of the county where the member resides.

2. No proxy shall be given by a member of the county committee for use at a meeting of the committee except to a qualified elector of the precinct where the member resides.

B. The duration of any proxy so given shall extend only for the length of the meeting for which it is given.

C. Every proxy shall be attested by a notary public or two witnesses.

A. POLITICAL PARTIES SHALL NOT USE PROXIES FOR ANY VOTING PROCEDURE.

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Replies to This Discussion

You'll have to get a sponsor and it is late in the season to do so.

I'm glad someone is addressing this issue. Take, for example, a situation in which a concentrated group of dedicated PCs are interested in promoting a certain person for a position and another person shows up with PC family members who never come to meetings, never participate in functions, and just happen to be carrying handfuls of proxies from other PC friends and relatives, all geared to support the status quo. Getting new blood and taking the organization in a different direction would be virtually impossible. Just sayin'.

I worked a voting machine at the County meeting last January. The same person, part of the GOP Elite in AZ, came through my line three times with his number of proxies not matching his ballot count. He tried another line the fourth time. Hmmmmmm......

Glad someone came public with this info. It is happening more and more and I've seen Graham doing all kinds of unethical things as Chairman.  I hope whoever wrote this will work with legislators to get this changed and not just make a public post.

We have had struggles getting proxies from folks in some Gila County precincts because we are so spread out and if there is only one PC in a precinct and no one else is available to carry it, that precinct loosed representation.  We have to drive sometimes 1 1/2 hrs to get to a meeting so when we are meeting in the south we loose attendance from the north, and when we meet in the north we loose representation from the south.  There needs to be a better way. I am toying with the idea of doing a north and south meeting but how do you get a quorum?  We might just meet to do separate trainings and only have one meeting when we need to vote on something.  Working on Bylaw changes after first of year, our bylaws now read proxies must be carried by someone from same precinct.  We are not like LDs who can more easily get to meetings without having to drive so far.  So many challenges. 

You can thank the redistricting commission for being so spread out. If you meet in the middle, will no one come?  Can you meet with one of those online services like Go to Meeting or Zoom?  Or have quarterly meetings.  Better check what statute says about proxies before you change by-laws. (in red in article).  Or maybe add some language that protects you guys in counties. But in the cities, proxies have been abused.

Thanks for the advice, but there is nothing in the middle that can hold 40-50 PCs.  So, we are working on a plan to get training to north and south parts of the county without having to have a quorum and then having everyone together when we need to pass any motions that need a quorum.  I have been reminded that we are elected County officials, so we might be able to use the County video meetings from the Court house in Globe and the Supervisors office in Payson.  Wonder how that could work?  Would they have to give the same opportunity to the Democrat PCs?  Hmmmm...

Great piece.  This practice needs to be ENDED.  I have seen the names of so called PCs on my LD roster who I have never laid eyes on.  But somehow they vote (by proxy) at almost every opportunity.  Bad stuff.  Time for action.

The participation to be a PC or State Committeeman should require the physical attendance at the once a year County Convention or State Convention. Unless medical impossible or family emergency, there should be no excuse, and the use of those proxies should be done away with. As PC's we should knowingly accept the "responsibility" to be acting on behalf of those we "represent" by a physical action ... not the shadow of a piece of paper!!  The continued use of this means of shadowy "responsibility" is just what the status quo wants and needs to perpetuate a FRAUD upon the citizenry by this all encompassing cloak of evil.

Poste for BE who is not an AFA member but has a good idea:

Set up a web go-to-meeting http://www.gotomeeting.com/online/or a webinar http://webinar-services-review.toptenreviews.com/

Each PC would be assigned an ID and a password that could be changed by the PC

They then could sign participate in the meeting all voting would be done electronically thus eliminating proxy voting. You could start with the County and State mandatory meetings and then maybe branch it out to LD’s especially those that cover such vast land area.

It would also save money and travel time for out of town PC’s.

With technology there is no use for PC’s to travel across the state taking time away from family and businesses. It’s a win win. No proxies and every PC can participate.be

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