Make Senate votes more transparent

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In the Georgia State Senate, the archaic default method for approving amendments to legislation that has already cleared public scrutiny in the committee process is an unrecorded, hand vote. On these floor amendments, there is no record of any member’s vote on the vote tally machine or in the permanent Senate Journal.

Current rules require a total of five senators to request a traditional, recorded vote on floor amendments. Most such votes go unrecorded.

In an effort to add to the transparency of state government and to eliminate the possibility of confusion on any senator’s vote in the senate chamber, I have filed Senate Resolution 24, which would change the existing senate rule so that any one senator could ask for a recorded vote on floor amendments.

It is my experienced opinion that changing this outdated senate rule will protect the reputation of all senate members and aid in the public’s ability to understand the legislative process. Passage of my proposed rule change will require a two-thirds majority if SR 24 is allowed to go to the full senate. Under current rules, the vote on changing the rule could be done with an unrecorded vote.

State Senator Josh McKoon
District 29
Columbus, Ga.