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Calpers seeking support for Apple board proposal

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Calpers, the largest U.S. pension fund, is seeking support for a longstanding proposal to get Apple Inc to require a majority vote before electing unopposed candidates to the company's board.

The non-binding shareholder proposal again asks Apple to replace its plurality vote rule in uncontested elections, and require election by a majority of total shares, Calpers said in a regulatory filing on Thursday.

Calpers, with $229 billion in assets, owned about 2 million Apple shares.

Apple, the world's most valuable technology company, hosts a shareholders' meeting on February 23. A spokesman referred to Apple's proxy statement, which again recommends that shareholders vote against this proposal.

In 2011, shareholders approved a proposal giving them a bigger say in appointing directors -- against the company's specific recommendation they reject the proposal.

The proposal that unopposed candidates for the company's board receive a majority of votes to win election received support from over 73 percent of the voting shares but the request remains outstanding, Calpers said.

Calpers, which manages pension and health benefits for California public employees, has called on other companies to adopt majority rather than plurality voting, which critics say allows unopposed directors to be elected too easily.

(Reporting By Poornima Gupta; Editing by Steve Orlofsky)