More than 7,100 votes missed during session, according to MichiganVotes.org “Missed Votes Report”
(Editor's note: The original version of this news release contained an error. The release should have indicated 23 state legislators missed no votes during the 2009-2010 session. The corrected version appears below.)
For Immediate Release
Wednesday, Dec. 22, 2010
Contact: Jack McHugh
Senior Legislative Analyst
Michael D. Jahr
Senior Director of Communications
MIDLAND — The Michigan Senate took 1,388 roll call votes during the 2009-2010 legislative session, and the House took 1,314*, according to the Missed Votes Report compiled by Jack McHugh, editor of MichiganVotes.org. In the aggregate, Michigan’s 38 senators and 110 representatives missed 7,173 votes during the two-year session, continuing a dramatic downward trajectory that began after 2001-2002, when MichiganVotes.org began tracking this information and the number was 21,162.
Here are the tallies for the other two-year sessions: 2001-2002 (21,162 missed votes); 2003-2004 (12,178); 2005-2006 (9,598); 2007-2008 (10,324); total missed votes, 2001-2010 (60,435).
During the 2009-2010 session, five senators and 13 representatives missed more than 100 votes each. Twenty-three Michigan lawmakers missed no votes. Find out how many votes your local state legislators missed at the “Missed Votes Report.”
The list can be sorted by name or by number of missed votes. The total number of possible votes is also listed for each legislator (those who were not in office for the entire session have lower numbers). If you click on a legislator’s name, you can see a brief, plain-English description of the actual votes that he or she missed. Missed vote totals for previous periods can be viewed by entering a different date range.
McHugh says the missed votes feature is an example of the power of the MichiganVotes.org database. “We now have 10 years of bills and votes in the system — the complete legislative careers of many members. In order to obtain this information anywhere else, you would have to read and record information from thousands of pages of legislative journals,” he said.
McHugh added that in most cases missed votes occur when other demands within the legislative process call a lawmaker off the floor for a few minutes, or when serious family or personal issues require an absence for an entire day or longer.
“Legislators are people too,” McHugh observed. “People shouldn’t jump to conclusions or assume bad faith. But if a legislator demonstrates a consistent pattern of missed votes for months on end, voters have a right to ask why.
“Personally, I’m more interested in the votes they did take, every one of which is instantly searchable and sortable on MichiganVotes.org,” McHugh added.
*MichiganVotes.org roll call vote totals do not include some purely procedural or duplicate votes. When these are included there were 1,321 House roll calls in 2009-2010, and 1,453 in the Senate.