Legislative Voting Records PurgedSubmitted by northstar on Fri, 08/07/2009 - 12:33
Though it blatantly violates the key principles of democracy, lawmakers in the nation’s most populous state regularly expunge voting records on controversial legislation so that the public can never access the information that could later hurt them politically.
The secret voting system by elected officials in California was exposed this week when the state’s Assembly purged its roll-call record on a heated issue—off shore oil drilling—to hide members’ actions from the public. The measure would have allowed oil drilling off of southern California’s precious coast for the first time in four decades.
The bill ultimately failed but residents can’t access how their representative voted on the controversial issue because it has been wiped out from the state’s otherwise user-friendly website, which claims to post all of California’s legislative votes (in the Assembly and Senate) on bills.