The display of a specific roll call is divided into three panels.
- Summary Panel: The top panel will contain the total results of the the vote, a link to the bill involved involved in the vote and a summary of what was the central issue of the vote written by MDN's director.
Note: When you click on the bill, the bill display will not include any links to rollcall vote(s). Since you already have a window displaying a the details of a vote on the bill, calling up another vote-view window could lead to a clutter on your desktop.
Note Also: The NV (not voting) covers those who missed the vote and those who voted present (P). Obviously, someone who voted present did vote, but it simplifies the table and the chart to include those votes in the not-voting figure since voting present essentially is an abstention.
However, present votes will be designated as a P in the bottom panel displaying how individual members voted.
The summary panel does not include vacant seats, although there will be an indication as to the number of vacancies at the time of the vote. Vacant seats will be identified in the list of member votes.
- Member Vote List Panel: The next panel displays a list of how each member voted.
At the top of the list scrollable list are four labels you can click to change the order of the display by the vote cast, legislator names, party or legislative district.
The first click of a label will sort list in ascending order. A second click will resort the list in descending order.
For example, the first click on Vote label would desplay the list in the over of N, P, Y. A second click would display the list in order of Y, P, N.
The one exception is for vacent districts and members who did not vote. These always will be placed at the bottom of the list.
- Chart Panel: This is a graphical representation of the role call.
Like the summary panel, both absent and present votes are included in the NV category.
The percentages are based on the actual number of members, not all the districts. So, vacant districts are not used to calculate percentages.
Unlike the summary panel, however, the chart does not include the occasional independent. Since there's never been 1 independent for a few years (in the House) for the period covered by MDN's role call database, the vote bar for the independent would be too small to even appear in the chart.
The reason is that your browser's print function will just print what's displayed by the brower. So the votes of members that are not visible in the member vote panel will not get printed.
With the print button, the summary panel and the full list of the member votes will be printed, if you go forward with printing -- but not the graphical chart.
Notes: MDN's unique roll call database covers the significant legislative votes going back to 1995.
The role calls cover only significant, news worthy votes for which there is a clear issue. Excluded are votes on amendments or substitutes which contain a laundry-list of topics making it impossible to discern the issue upon which legislators were voting and, thus, making it impossible to write a simple description on what the vote was about.
Unfortunately, the legislature has begun routinely passing these omnibus, multi-subject amendments and substitutes that are in clear violation of the state Supreme Court's decision restricting bills to a single topic.
The descriptions of the votes are written by MDN's director, Phill Brooks, who has covered the legislature for one-half century, making him dean of the statehouse press corps.