The Post and Courier of Charleston, South Carolina, reports that senators in that state's Legislature recorded "yes" or "no" votes on only 1 percent of the bills that become law this year. (For state representatives, the number was 8 percent.) Almost all action was instead taken by "unanimous consent." Critics say that the practice allows legislators to duck responsibility for legislation (and accountability for their votes). House Speaker Bobby Herrell tells reporter Yvonne Wegner that lawmakers are simply saving money by not compiling voting records:
House members vote on an electronic board, which costs taxpayers $55 for every vote because of the cost of paper, printing, staff time, maintenance, power and technology fees, according to Harrell's office.
"If some are suggesting that we should spend taxpayer dollars and increase government waste by taking a roll-call vote on every measure — whether warranted or not — I do not think that is a very wise decision," Harrell, R-Charleston, said.
Coincidentally or not, South Carolina has repeatedly been the only state that has kept Massachusetts from having the worst record in the United States (see third item) in terms of contested legislative elections.
Thanks to State Legislatures' GrassCatcher.