December 8, 2017
Overall the idea of a universal proxy is a good way to improve transparency in voting for corporations. The biggest issue with current rules is that proxy voting is different from in person voting. In today's day and age, remotely making a decision should be the same as making a decision in person. Finance as a whole has made great technological and efficiency strides in the past few decades, yet proxy voting still has aspects that are comparatively archaic. Allowing for more transparency and increased efficiency of remote voting not only will make current rules more in line with today's methods, it will also hopefully open the door for more steps to be taken to improve the efficiency of voting in general.
I furthermore believe that this proposal should be extended to funds and BDCs for the same reasons stated above. Transparency and consistency should be the ultimate goal here.
I don't believe that any of these proposals should be optional. First, this compromises the idea of consistency that this proposal is trying to promote. Any considerations of costs being too high should be the concern of the company in this situation, and perhaps the SEC is there is prohibitive regulation standing in the way of clear efficiency.
The SEC should continue to monitor these rules for cost efficiency and be open to proposals in the future that will optimize proxy voting.