At its open meeting on Wednesday, the Securities and Exchange Commission decided to continue allowing companies to bar shareholders from nominating directors on company ballots, although investors may continue to nominate directors or seek to change company bylaws by waging costly proxy campaigns on their own.

The three Republican commissioners voted in favor of the proposal, and the lone Democrat, Annette Nazareth, voted against it.

The SEC came out with two proxy proposals in July after a federal appeals court said the Commission cannot continue to allow corporations to exclude shareholders’ proposals on proxies and must review the issue. A second proposal that was rejected on Wednesday would have paved the way for shareholders to include proposals on company ballots, but only if they have the backing of shareholders who own at least 5% of a company’s stock for a year or longer.

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