News
News Home
Quick Bites
Exploradio
News Archive
News Channel
Special Features
NPR
nowplaying
On AirNewsClassical
Loading...
  
School Closings
WKSU Support
Funding for WKSU is made possible in part through support from the following businesses and organizations.

Hennes Paynter Communications

Knight Foundation

NOCHE


For more information on how your company or organization can support WKSU, download the WKSU Media Kit.

(WKSU Media Kit PDF icon )


Donate Your Vehicle to WKSU

Programs Schedule Make A Pledge Member BenefitsFAQ/HelpContact Us
Government and Politics


Ohio Senate's unrecorded voting process raises questions
The Statehouse method lays out plans to spend nearly $62 billion with no written record of votes
by WKSU's STATEHOUSE CORRESPONDENT JO INGLES


Reporter
Jo Ingles
 
Democrats stand in a vote for on amendment to the State budget June 6.
Courtesy of Jo Ingles
Download (WKSU Only)
In The Region:

The Ohio Senate used a less common way of voting on some amendments when it passed the budget yesterday. Some are questioning the process.

LISTEN: INGLES ON VOTING

Other options:
Windows Media / MP3 Download (3:13)


(Click image for larger view.)

Usually when state lawmakers vote, they hold a roll call so that every member states whether they support or oppose a bill or an amendment.  But in nine out of two dozen amendments considered by the Ohio Senate during the budget debate, President Keith Faber used a different method, where he counted standing members as in favor of the amendment.

That type of vote is rarely used in the Ohio Legislature these days. 

"We had a whole long list of amendments and we wanted to make sure we went through the process," Faber says.

Republicans stand in a vote for on amendment to the State budget June 6.Who votes for what?
On the Ohio Channel, when they film this, they don’t show who is standing and who is not standing. A lot of people question the accountability.

"On motions to table, it is a procedural matter," Faber says. "It is accountable by the yays and nays of the total vote. And so that’s their accountability. Anyone who is in the chamber has the opportunity to see that and certainly you can ask people how they voted."

But when these type of votes are cast, there is no written record of how each lawmaker voted on the measure. John Green, a professor with the Bliss Institute at the University of Akron says there might be reasons, other than expediency, why lawmakers might opt for these types of votes rather than a roll-call record.

"Sometimes members of the Legislature and Congress, city council and so forth would really rather not have people know how they voted because a lot of issues are controversial and sometimes legislators find themselves in a bit of a bind with some people in their district wanting one thing and others in their districts wanting another thing so there can be some advantages to individual members to not have their vote recorded precisely," Green says. "But then, of course, there are people outside of the Legislature or those who might want to lobby a particular member or run against a particular member might be frustrated because they wouldn’t know how a member voted on a particular piece of legislation."

Problems for opponents, loobyists, voters
Catherine Turcer with Common Cause Ohio says it is not only lobbyists and potential opponents who might be frustrated with the voice and standing vote process.

"The voters have no idea who voted for these amendments," Turcer says. This strictly lets our legislators off the hook when it comes time to be responsible when it comes time for us to go to the polls."

Some of the amendments under consideration that were voted on this way include a bill that would have required businesses receiving tax incentives to account for how those dollars are being used and an amendment that would have added money for Ohio’s food banks.  Turcer says voters have the right to know where their Senators stand on amendments like these.

"It’s these kinds of silly maneuvers that make voters distrustful of the process," Turcer says.

The vote on the budget itself was a roll call vote where each lawmaker had to vote in favor or against it. It passed along party lines with Republicans voting yes and Democrats voting no. The Ohio House will vote on the budget bill in the coming days, likely sending it to a conference committee that will be charged with hammering out, behind closed doors, the difference between the house and senate versions of the budget.

Listener Comments:

This type of voting strikes me as down right unconstitutional AND very un-American...quite similar to what one expects in eastern block countries of Europe and definitely Russia. Our elected officials must remain accountable for their votes and actions. Prof. John Green's explanation is correct, "members of the Legislature and Congress, city council and so forth would really rather not have people know how they voted.." for which they should be impeached, in my opinion.


Posted by: S W Marcy (Northeast Ohio) on June 9, 2013 1:06AM
Add Your Comment
Name:

Location:

E-mail: (not published, only used to contact you about your comment)


Comments:




 
Page Options

Print this page

E-Mail this page / Send mp3

Share on Facebook




Stories with Recent Comments

Three exonerated of murder convictions from 18 years ago
Thanks heavens that none of them have been condemned to death. This alons should convince the USA to join the civilized world by abolishing the death penalty. E...

Kombucha: a sweet business brewed with fermented tea
Stevia is not an artificial sweetener. It is a plant. I have one growing in my sunroom. The leaves are dried and added to teas. It's harvested commercially and...

Bringing back ballet in Cleveland
I do think Ballet in Cleveland is doing good things, but the fact that director says "When we have flourishing companies like the New York City Ballet and the A...

Report confirms some Vietnam veterans may have been exposed to Agent Orange
was in nam 1969 exposed va stated lost medical records was in lawsuit from 197? till settled 0 $ 2010 ? said all nam vets will get back disability till 198? jus...

Mentorship grant program redefines "faith-based" provision
Can't anyone have values, beliefs, and morals anymore? How is it anymore unconstitutional for a school partner with a "faith-based" organization than any other ...

Exploradio: The challenge of finding a healthy balance with technology
Thank you, Jeff, for another well done Exploradio. I always learn something interesting about what is happening in NE Ohio.

Northeast Ohio's transgender community rallies around restroom issue
A good first step would be for Cleveland to require restaurants to have a public restroom. Cleveland is the only city I've ever been in where restaurants somet...

Vapor shops say tobacco tax hikes could hit them hard
Maybe you should be DOING a study, since every time you've tried to villianize them all that's happened was the opposite. I'm not a fan of alcohol that's flavor...

New law gives access to birth records to Ohio adoptees
Can siblings also look for their missing brother or sister? And how do we go about it?

Ida McKinley's tiara comes home, with the help of "Pawn Stars"
I donated to the fund to keep the tiara at the museum where I believe it belongs. I took my 16 year old granddaughter to the showing I dont think it will be som...

Copyright © 2015 WKSU Public Radio, All Rights Reserved.

 
In Partnership With:

NPR PRI Kent State University

listen in windows media format listen in realplayer format Car Talk Hosts: Tom & Ray Magliozzi Fresh Air Host: Terry Gross A Service of Kent State University 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. NPR Senior Correspondent: Noah Adams Living on Earth Host: Steve Curwood 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. A Service of Kent State University