News Release: Offers 2009 "Missed Votes Report"

How Many Votes Did Your State Representative and Senator Miss in 2009?

For Immediate Release
Thursday, Dec. 31, 2009
Contact: Jack McHugh
Legislative Analyst

MIDLAND — The Michigan Senate took 716 roll call votes in 2009, and the House took 682. Five senators and 11 representatives missed more than 50 votes. Forty-three Michigan lawmakers missed no votes.

Find out how many votes your local state legislators missed on the "Missed Votes Report."

You can sort this list by name or by number of missed votes. The total number of possible votes is also listed for each legislator (those who were in office only part of the year have lower numbers). If you click on a legislator's name, you can see the actual votes that he or she missed. (If you look up that legislator on the site's "advanced search" page, you can view these in batches of 50.) Missed vote totals for previous periods can be viewed by entering a different date range. Editor Jack McHugh says the missed votes lookup feature is a good example of the power of the database. "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 that 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 people too," McHugh observes. "People shouldn't jump to conclusions or assume bad faith. But if a legislator demonstrates a consistent pattern of many missed votes for months on end, citizens have a right to ask why."