MIDLAND — How many votes did your Michigan senator or representative miss in 2003? MichiganVotes.org, the website that provides concise, objective, plain-language descriptions of every single bill, vote, and amendment in the Michigan Legislature, has assembled a database for reporters of the missed-vote record for every Michigan senator and representative in 2003. The specific missed vote tallies are included at the end of this document.

Editor Jack McHugh says the database is a good example of the power of the MichiganVotes.org website. "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 says there are two kinds of reasons that legislators miss votes: "Good ones and bad ones." In most cases, missed votes happen 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 absence for an entire day or longer. "Legislators are human too," McHugh observes. "But there are the rare cases where a lawmaker figuratively ‘hides in the bathroom’ during a tough vote," he said.

McHugh points out that without an explanation from a lawmaker there is no way to tell for certain whether a missed vote fits the "good reason" or "bad reason" category. Senators have the right to insert into the legislative Journal how they would have voted on any missed vote, but don’t always do so. House members have this right only if they are temporarily absent during a legislative session, and a temporary excuse has been requested before the vote.

However, by examining the content of the votes themselves it is possible to assess whether a legislator has a pattern of missing tough votes. To make this possible, MichiganVotes.org has also created a spreadsheet listing each roll-call vote missed by each lawmaker, including the web address for the site’s concise, objective, plain-English description of the legislation being voted upon. MichiganVotes.org is the only source of such data, which is now available upon request. An upcoming redesign of the MichiganVotes.org website and database will make this information available instantly through the site itself.

Mackinac Center for Public Policy President Lawrence Reed commended the MichiganVotes.org software engineers for producing the missed votes report. "By letting the sun shine in on legislative activity, this site is changing the way government does business in Michigan," Reed said. "The site now contains a powerful database which will prove fruitful not just for voters and reporters, but for political scientists and other researchers as well."

MichiganVotes.org is a free public service of the Mackinac Center for Public Policy, an independent, nonpartisan, nonprofit research and educational institute. Its purpose is to inform citizens, community leaders, business people, media and public officials about legislation that affects their families, schools, jobs and communities. It empowers citizens to take a more active part in the democratic process, and to hold their elected representatives accountable.

What follows is the specific missed votes tallies for each Michigan senator and representative. For more information about MichiganVotes.org or the missed vote report, or for an e-mailed copy of the complete Excel spreadsheet listing each roll-call vote missed by each lawmaker, contact Jack McHugh at (517) 749-1129, or mchugh@mackinac.org.

MichiganVotes.org
2003 Missed Votes Report *
Michigan Senate

Name of Legislator

Party

District

Total Missed Votes

 

 

 

 

Sen. Jason Allen

R

37

16

Sen. Jim Barcia

D

31

26

Sen. Ray Basham

D

8

5

Sen. Virg Bernero

D

23

8

Sen. Patricia Birkholz

R

24

4

Sen. Mike Bishop

R

12

3

Sen. Liz Brater

D

18

0

Sen. Cameron Brown

R

16

1

Sen. Nancy Cassis

R

15

2

Sen. Deborah Cherry

D

26

3

Sen. Irma Clark-Coleman

D

3

22

Sen. Hansen Clarke

D

1

58

Sen. Alan L. Cropsey

R

33

1

Sen. Bob Emerson

D

27

89

Sen. Valde Garcia

R

22

43

Sen. Tom George

R

20

1

Sen. Jud Gilbert

R

25

1

Sen. Mike Goschka

R

32

0

Sen. Beverly Hammerstrom

R

17

6

Sen. Bill Hardiman

R

29

0

Sen. Gilda Jacobs

D

14

27

Sen. Ron Jelinek

R

21

29

Sen. Shirley Johnson

R

13

60

Sen. Wayne Kuipers

R

30

69

Sen. Burton Leland

D

5

29

Sen. Michelle McManus

R

35

15

Sen. Dennis Olshove

D

8

1

Sen. Bruce Patterson

R

7

0

Sen. Michael Prusi

D

38

23

Sen. Alan Sanborn

R

11

0

Sen. Mark Schauer

D

19

10

Sen. Martha G. Scott

D

2

39

Sen. Ken Sikkema

R

28

6

Sen. Tony Stamas

R

36

6

Sen. Michael Switalski

D

10

1

Sen. Samuel B. Thomas

D

4

75

Sen. Laura Toy

R

6

25

Sen. Gerald Van Woerkom

R

34

0

* The "total missed votes" category includes "absent for the day" and "temporary absence" missed vote totals. Specific roll call vote numbers are also available in an Excel spreadsheet format. Contact MichiganVotes.org Editor Jack McHugh at (517) 749-1129, or mchugh@mackinac.org.

MichiganVotes.org
2003 Missed Votes Report *
Michigan House of Representatives

Name of Legislator

Party

District

Total Missed Votes

Rep. Daniel Acciavatti

R

32

0

Rep. Frank Accavitti

D

42

4

Rep. Stephen Adamini

D

2

102

Rep. Fran Amos

R

43

5

Rep. Glenn Anderson

D

18

3

Rep. Steve Bieda

D

25

4

Rep. Clark Bisbee

R

64

13

Rep. Ken Bradstreet

R

105

11

Rep. Jack Brandenburg

R

24

40

Rep. Rich Brown

D

110

22

Rep. Dianne Byrum

D

67

9

Rep. Tom Casperson

R

108

1

Rep. Bruce Caswell

R

58

2

Rep. Sandy Caul

R

99

8

Rep. Marsha Cheeks

D

6

37

Rep. Brenda Clack

D

34

40

Rep. Paul Condino

D

36

0

Rep. Ken Daniels

D

2

169

Rep. Julie Dennis

D

92

34

Rep. Craig DeRoche

R

38

14

Rep. Gene DeRossett

R

52

37

Rep. Leon Drolet

R

33

6

Rep. Stephen Ehardt

R

83

85

Rep. Jennifer Elkins

D

97

18

Rep. Judy Emmons

R

70

5

Rep. David Farhat

R

91

6

Rep. Barbara Farrah

D

13

10

Rep. Edward Gaffney

R

1

9

Rep. John Garfield

R

45

9

Rep. Paul Gieleghem

D

31

29

Rep. Matthew Gillard

D

106

66

Rep. John Gleason

D

48

24

Rep. Lauren Hager

R

81

2

Rep. Artina Tinsley Hardman

D

3

72

Rep. Doug Hart

R

73

108

Rep. Morris Hood

D

11

18

Rep. Jacob Hoogendyk

R

61

11

Rep. Hoon-Yung Hopgood

D

22

20

Rep. Jim Howell

R

94

13

Rep. Bill Huizenga

R

90

40

Rep. Scott Hummel

R

93

3

Rep. Joseph Hune

R

47

0

Rep. Tupac Hunter

D

9

16

Rep. RuthAnn Jamnick

D

54

31

Rep. Rick Johnson

R

102

20

Rep. Ruth Johnson

R

46

3

Rep. Larry Julian

R

85

7

Rep. James Koetje

R

86

89

Rep. Chris Kolb

D

53

20

Rep. Jerry Kooiman

R

75

1

Rep. Phil LaJoy

R

21

0

Rep. Charles LaSata

R

79

90

Rep. Kathleen Law

D

23

10

Rep. Alexander Lipsey

D

60

27

Rep. Bill McConico

D

5

81

Rep. Andy Meisnee

D

27

13

Rep. Tom Meyer

R

84

24

Rep. MaryAnn Middaugh

R

80

11

Rep. Matt Milosch

R

55

0

Rep. Jack Minore

D

49

28

Rep. John Moolenaar

R

98

1

Rep. Mickey Mortimer

R

65

11

Rep. Michael Murphy

D

68

51

Rep. Gary Newell

R

87

7

Rep. Neal Nitz

R

78

2

Rep. Mike Nofs

R

62

2

Rep. William O'Neil

D

14

119

Rep. Daniel Paletko

D

17

3

Rep. Brian Palmer

R

36

0

Rep. David Palsrok

R

101

2

Rep. John Pappageorge

R

41

19

Rep. John Pastor

R

19

4

Rep. Clarence Phillips

D

29

60

Rep. Jim Plakas

D

16

113

Rep. Mike Pumford

R

100

25

Rep. Triette Reeves

D

10

84

Rep. Randy Richardville

R

56

1

Rep. Joseph Rivet

D

96

51

Rep. Dave Robertson

R

51

0

Rep. Sal Rocca

R

30

1

Rep. Michael Sak

D

76

5

Rep. Scott Shackleton

R

107

13

Rep. Rick Shaffer

R

59

7

Rep. Fulton Sheen

R

88

2

Rep. Dale Sheltrown

D

103

6

Rep. Marc Shulman

R

39

15

Rep. Virgil Smith

D

7

61

Rep. Doug Spade

D

57

1

Rep. John Stahl

R

82

5

Rep. John Stakoe

R

44

19

Rep. Alma Stallworth

D

8

194

Rep. Glenn Steil

R

72

1

Rep. John Stewart

R

20

8

Rep. Susan Tabor

R

71

62

Rep. Shelley Goodman Taub

R

40

46

Rep. Steve Tobocman

D

12

18

Rep. Aldo Vagnozzi

D

37

9

Rep. William Van Regenmorter

R

89

25

Rep. Barb Vander Veen

R

74

59

Rep. Joanne Voorhees

R

77

9

Rep. Howard Walker

R

104

0

Rep. Chris Ward

R

66

2

Rep. Mary Waters

D

4

14

Rep. Lorence Wenke

R

63

32

Rep. Gretchen Whitmer

D

69

239

Rep. Carl Williams

D

95

34

Rep. Lisa Wojno

D

28

8

Rep. David Woodward

D

26

14

Rep. Gary Woronchak

R

15

43

Rep. Paula Zelenko

D

50

82

* The "total missed votes" category includes "absent for the day" and "temporary absence" missed vote totals. The data do not separate excused from unexcused temporary absence votes. Specific roll call vote numbers are also available in an Excel spreadsheet format. Contact MichiganVotes.org Editor Jack McHugh at (517) 749-1129, or mchugh@mackinac.org.

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