In absentia. Proxy voting as a form of remote electoral participation

Proxy voting has become more widespread in recent decades. Based on the “Enquête sur la participation électorale” (Study of Electoral Participation) published by INSEE in 2017, we argue that this alternative to direct voting strengthens electoral participation among the upper classes, and thus also perpetuates inequalities in voter turnout. Young adults are more likely to participate in proxy voting, even though they also form an important non-voting bloc. Proxy voting—at least based on the reference point of the 2017 elections—accounts for the over-representation of executives and highly educated individuals. If proxy voting is discounted, the voting rate for this group is in fact equivalent to that of intermediate sociodemographic categories. Mobility and social resources intersect here: proxy voting is a method used by highly mobile voters with the most social resources, whereas a lack of mobility among the lower classes often leads to abstention. Proxy voting thus makes possible a certain kind of “remote” electoral participation.

References :
Coulmont (Baptiste), “In absentia. Proxy voting as a form of remote electoral participation“, Revue française de science politique (English version) Volume 70, Issue 3-4, May 2020, pages 469 to 488

More :

  1. Video capsule (in French)

  2. In absentia. Le vote par procuration, une participation électorale à distance ? (original French version)