Public Access to Senate Roll Call Votes Clears Hurdle

Posted May 5, 2009 at 11:08am

The Senate Rules and Administration Committee moved swiftly this week to make roll call votes more accessible to the public, Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) announced.

A bipartisan group led by DeMint requested last week that the Rules panel make votes available using the XML format — a computer format that the House used and that would allow the public to immediately access and analyze Senate tallies online.

In a statement, DeMint applauded Chairman Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) and ranking member Bob Bennett (R-Utah) for directing the Secretary of the Senate to make the change this week.

“I want to thank Senators Schumer and Bennett for helping us increase Senate transparency and accountability,— DeMint said. “Last week, a group of Senators on both sides of the aisle sent them a letter asking them to publish Senate votes in the XML format so the public can use computers to search, sort, and visualize voting records in new ways. I’m pleased we were able to quickly make this change, and I look forward to working with my colleagues to make more improvements in the future.—