A vote by proxy is the act of one person casting a ballot on behalf of another person. Often, proxy votes are an option exercised by shareholders in a given company, if they do not wish to attend meetings in which voting on corporate matters takes place.
Although proxy voting is fairly common in regard to corporations, some assemblies do not allow it. For example, in both houses of the U.S. Congress and most state legislatures, all members have to be present at meetings in order for their votes to be counted. Unfortunately, sometimes this rule can result in too many missing members and a motion has to be filed to compel the necessary number of representatives to attend.