Suppose there is an upcoming shareholder vote. If my shares are held in street name, and I decide not to participate in the vote, what will happen to the votes that I don't cast? Can my broker use my shares to vote in any way they want?

  • Does the notification of the vote not say? In my (limited, UK) experience, the notice of a vote/AGM normally says what will happen: letting the chairperson act as proxy seems common. I've never seen anything indicating the broker can choose.
    – TripeHound
    Nov 29, 2020 at 16:52
  • Dupe money.stackexchange.com/questions/99494/… (see Harvard resource in my comment there) Apr 30, 2021 at 7:25

1 Answer 1


There is (was?) a NYSE rule that allows brokers to vote in some routine matters when holding shares in street name and shareholders fail to vote. A non routine matter would be something like a merger or acquisition.

Another factor in this is that the company requires enough shares voting in order to have a quorum and broker voting facilitates this.

I offer no specifics and suggest that you google for details.

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