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

Don Drumm Studios

Metro RTA


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

Ohio's Supreme Court narrowly upholds Ashford Thompson's death sentence
"Justices" William O’Neill, Paul Pfeifer and Judith Lanzinger should all be immediately removed from the court. If they could actually believe that this murde...

Ohio's Sen. Brown is pushing for more assistance for homeless vets
That would be a great program to have for the homeless vets. Many of them are still suffering from PTSD even from the Vietnam war.

Lordstown GM plant plans to install 8,500 solar panels
How much will this solar array cost? How is it being funded, and who is really paying for it? How much real useful electricity will it actually produce in MEh p...

Local Ebola concerns cause officials to pay more attention to West Africa
I have a better idea, let's secure our borders and spend those billions of dollars on our own first.

HUD and Cuyahoga Land Bank extend a housing deal for another year
Need to sale lot, and would like to know how to contact someone to see if they may be interested in the property that sat between two lots. If you can give me...

Akron Beacon Journal details abuse claims against televangelist Angley
In the early 90's I went forth for pray. And the man was anointed by the hand of God. Just a fact I will never forget

Lawmaker questions why a million voters didn't get absentee applications
He's a damn lie! I vote n all elections. I missed 1. Haven't gotten my absentee ballot and their making it hard to get one.

Thirsty Dog Brewery warns it might have to leave Akron
Why is it the city's responsibility to find this guy a location? There are a hundred realestate companies that could help him.

Kent State sends home three after contact with second Ebola-stricken nurse
Why weren't all health workers who were around Duncan quaranteened for 21 days and tested for Ebola? That's a no-brainer. Why was Vinson allowed to travel right...

Copyright © 2014 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