Convenience, backlash mix as candidates vote by proxy in House – JP


Ryan has defended his use of proxy voting, telling Spectrum News, “I’m going to continue to use it. I mean, it’s an opportunity for me to both be in Ohio but yet cast my vote here.” 

Rep. Val B. Demings is another House member running for Senate who has been attacked for her use of proxy voting, although she is one of the less frequent proxy voters in the House. Prior to Hurricane Ian’s landfall, the Florida Democrat had voted by proxy less than 8 percent of the time in 2022. Her opponent, Republican Sen. Marco Rubio, said in a speech the night of the Aug. 23 Florida primary that Demings had “voted from her pajamas or whatever she was wearing” to vote by proxy “so many times.” 

Demings’ campaign deputy communications director, Anna Breedlove, fired back. “Marco Rubio is a career politician who doesn’t even show up for work, and when he does he hurts Floridians,” she said. With the aid of proxies, Demings has a 99.4 percent participation rate on floor votes this year. 

Rubio’s participation rate is 94.6 percent, placing him 73rd among senators. Unlike their counterparts in the House, senators are not allowed to vote by proxy and must be physically present to have their votes counted. When Rubio was last looking for a promotion of his own, running for president in 2016, he missed 23 percent of his votes and ranked 98th of 100 senators.

Rep. Charlie Christ faced criticism for his extensive use of proxy voting while running for the Democratic nomination for governor in Florida. In 2022, Crist voted by proxy 75 percent of the time. A Republican-leaning watchdog group called for the Office of Congressional Ethics to investigate what it referred to as Crist’s “abuse” of the proxy voting system.

Las Vegas News Magazine

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