Legislators' voting histories
Freshman legislators vow to revisit measure to make lawmakers' votes more accessible.
At the Virginia Coalition for Open Government's annual conference on Oct. 22, Dels. Mark Keam (D-Vienna) and Jim LeMunyon (R-Oak Hill) announced they would again be bringing forth a bill to make the voting histories of General Assembly members searchable online. Currently a member's voting history must be compiled bill by bill, committee vote by committee vote.
A similar bill introduced by the pair in 2010 passed the House on an 87-12 vote, but failed in the Senate Rules Committee.
LeMunyon mentioned being unable to easily investigate the voting records of competitors when campaigning for his seat in 2009. When discussing the trepidation some established legislators had about the bill, Keam noted that because technology is an essential part of all campaigns now, newer legislators have come to assume that some basic voting information will be online.
The pair teamed up at a freshmen legislators' orientation and decided to introduce a bill to make voting histories easily accessible and searchable. They say they have talked with the division responsible for maintaining the Legislative Information Service website and have been assured that costs in implementing the new function would be minimal to non-existent: it's simply a matter of configuring existing technology to organize the data properly.
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