Is there a legislative body where elected representatives may cast their vote remotely, through some sort of a computer system? Citizens can already vote remotely in Estonian elections, so it doesn't seem far fetched for politicians to "work" remotely as well.

I'm aware that, for example, the US President is allowed to sign bills remotely, but Congress members are not allowed to decide on bills using the Internet yet.

2 Answers 2


Yes, although it is rare.

In the United States, the only state or federal legislature allowing remote voting of some type on floor votes in the sense of the original question is the Pennsylvania Senate and then it is allowed only when a member is absent on Pennsylvania Senate business.

Some chambers enforce agreements that between members of opposite parties that if, for example, a particular Democrat does not vote, a particular Republican will not vote, which is called "pair voting" which was allowed in 21 legislative chambers out of 99 at the state level all this, it is customary in the 2 chambers in Congress (whether or not it is binding) and may be done in various legislatures in territorial governments.

Committees of legislative bodies sometimes allow meetings to be conducted by teleconference with remote voting and it is ubiquitous in private business organizations and not uncommon in private non-profit organizations. Alaska recognizes a right for people who aren't members of legislative committees to participate in legislative hearings remotely, but not necessarily for remote voting by members of the committee itself.

Apparently, the only national legislature to permit remote voting (which is permitted via a proxy in that case) in connection with "floor votes", of an entire legislative chamber, is New Zealand.

I know of no source that provides this information for the myriad subnational legislative bodies outside the United States, or for local governments in the United States (of which there are approximately 100,000, many of which can adopt their own procedures on an issue like this one), and it would be impractical to search for it. I wouldn't be surprised if there were a handful of additional exceptions at this level.


I believe that Standing Rule XXVI of the US Senate allows proxy voting in committees, but not on the floor. I believe that proxy voting was once permitted in the US house, but it was banned in 1995 as part of the "Contract With America" in H.Res.6 which changed Rule XI (where it still appears to be in place).

The Wikipedia article on proxy voting has some additional details, but it doesn't appear to have good sourcing for everything. One example they give is New Zealand. Their Parliament has proxy voting explicitly listed in their standing orders (sections 154 and 155). The UK doesn't appear to have any proxy voting in the House of Commons, but there is a practice called "nodding through" that somewhat resembles it. There is some detailed discussion on the UK clerk of the house's website that explores the possibility of extending the ability to vote despite being sick or away. It specifically makes comparisons to New Zealand and pre-1995 USA.

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