Website change may affect vote tallies in General Assembly

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July 29, 2013

Rhode Island

By Justin Haas

PROVIDENCE, Rhode Island: Changes to the Rhode Island General Assembly's website could result in lawmakers' official vote tallies being different than those that were cast on the House and Senate floors. The state's recent website improvements will make it more difficult to know how lawmakers voted when a bill was actually voted on.[1]

Until recently, vote tallies reflected votes cast while a bill was before the chamber. However, now vote tallies will reflect vote totals once after-the-vote adjustments are made. These adjustments include votes of lawmakers who missed the vote and votes of lawmakers who change their vote to the other side after the fact. These adjustments are allowed in the Assembly as long as they don't affect the outcome of the vote.[1]

The reasoning behind the change is to create an official record that matches the record of the House and Senate journals.[1]

Rhode Island is among at least 10 states that allow lawmakers to change their votes after the fact.[1]

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