SueOn shared this video with me: Texas Legislation and I can’t believe how ridiculous the Texas Legislation is… Voting for others? Voting cross parties? The practice appears to be so common, everyone does it, and it’s a game of speed of who could push the button first.
According to this article:
Lawmakers Vote Multiple Times For Others (which appears to be no longer available, but you can see the cache), here’s the statement the spokesperson for the House Speaker gave:
Statement from Alexis DeLee, Spokesperson for House Speaker, Tom Craddick.
Since the membership has adopted the requirement for a record vote on 3rd reading, it is probable that members may vote for other members when they leave the floor to eat, meet with constituents or go to the restroom. Like many House rules dealing with the interactions between members, we leave the enforcement of the rules to the good judgment of the members. Members shouldn’t be voting for members who aren’t here, but if they do, everyone has the right to ask for a verification vote. A member may always lock their voting machine and take their key when they are off the floor so they may not be voted in their absence. When a verification is called and a member is not found, the House Sergeant’s office locks their machine and takes their key. When strict enforcement is asked for by a house member, the Speaker allows each member time to get to their desk to vote.
Time to eat? Restroom breaks? Those reasons just sound ludicrous to allow others to vote for you.
I wonder if it’s the first vote that counts or the last vote that counts. It’d be cool if it was the last vote or last button push or if it isn’t, it should be, given how ridiculous this situation is. It reminds me of one of those Mario Party games where you try to make all the balls your color and the player who ends with the most balls in his color wins when time runs out. Running for legislation would no longer be about how smart you are (actually I don’t think that ever mattered), but how fast you can run and push buttons. Gamers might have a chance at winning a seat in the legislative branch now! I think that’ll actually make legislation voting actually worth watching.