Vote report shows local legislators on duty
By REPORTER STAFF
Mercer Island Reporter Staff
May 2, 2012 · 1:56 PM
Islanders can rest assured that they are being well represented in our state capitol in Olympia.
Representatives Marcie Maxwell (D-Renton) and her colleagues, Judy Clibborn (D-Mercer Island) and Sen. Steve Litzow (R-Mercer Island) have rarely missed a vote in the Washington Legislature since the beginning of the 2011 session. Maxwell has not missed any.
The 2012 Missed Votes Report from WashingtonVotes.org details missed roll call votes on bills for every legislator throughout the regular legislative session and the special session. It has been in operation since 2002.
In the three Legislative sessions held in 2012, the regular session plus two special sessions included:
• 1,699 bills introduced in the Legislature
• 260 bills passed by the Legislature
• 423 roll call votes in the Senate
• 498 roll call votes in the House
The result? Sixty-one legislators did not miss any of these votes, while eight legislators missed more than 50 votes.
“The Missed Votes Report provides Washington voters with an additional tool to monitor the actions of their elected officials in Olympia,” Phillips said, adding, “As part of our free public service website, the Missed Votes Report works to hold lawmakers accountable to their constituents without having to pour over information from thousands of pages of legislative documents.”
WashingtonVotes.org Director Sonya Phillips said, “There are many reasons why legislators miss votes, such as other public service or business obligations, legislative negotiations, and medical and family emergencies.”
WashingtonVotes.org contacts the five legislators from each chamber who misses the most votes each year and gives them an opportunity to explain why they missed votes.
The two extra sessions this year offered an additional challenge for legislators who usually have ‘day’ jobs.
“While it’s true that during the special sessions added this year, there was often little notice given for floor sessions, legislators are still expected to be a voice for those who elect them by voting on legislation that will have an effect on the lives of their constituents,” Phillips said.
“There were about half as many floor votes taken during the shorter regular and two special sessions this year as there were during the longer regular and one special sessions last year; accordingly, there were about half as many missed votes on average this year.”
• Judy Clibborn has missed 10 votes out of 1,224 since January 2011. She did not miss any votes out of 498 during the 2012 sessions.
• Sen. Steve Litzow missed 7 votes of the 423 roll call votes during the three sessions in 2012. Since January 2011, Litzow has missed a total of 10 votes out of 1,081 roll call votes.
• Marcie Maxwell has not missed any votes since January 2011 — including all votes in the special sessions of 2012.
WashingtonVotes.org’s Missed Votes Report database is available online.
Tallies are available for every year back to 2002. You can see reports from previous years by changing the date criteria at the top of the page.
Click on a legislator’s name for detailed information about the votes he or she missed.
A pdf version of the 2012 Missed Votes Report and responses from the five legislators from each chamber who missed the most votes are also available online.
Contact Mercer Island Reporter Staff Reporter Staff at firstname.lastname@example.org.