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Vote Smart provides easy access to Congressional and state voting records and maintains a collection of key votes grouped by issue. Vote Smart uses the following criteria to select key votes:

  1. The vote should be helpful in portraying how a member stands on a particular issue
  2. The vote should be clear for any person to understand
  3. The vote has received media attention
  4. The vote was passed or defeated by a very close margin
  5. Occasionally, if a specific bill is consistently inquired about on the Voter's Research Hotline, the vote will be added

Vote Smart provides a summary of the version of the bill text associated with each selected key vote. The summary does not necessarily reflect the content of the final version of the bill. Summaries are written by Vote Smart's staff and interns, who adhere to the project's strict policies and procedures in order to guarantee absolute impartiality and accuracy. Each key vote selection is reviewed by the project's community of advisors, who are political scientists and journalists from all fifty states.


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Date State Bill No. Title Outcome
Feb. 26, 2020 CO SB 20-100 Repeals the Death Penalty Bill Passed - House (38 - 27)
Jan. 31, 2020 CO SB 20-100 Repeals the Death Penalty Bill Passed - Senate (19 - 13)
June 19, 2019 OR SB 1013 Redefines the Crime of Aggravated Murder Bill Passed - House (33 - 26)
June 5, 2019 OH HB 136 Prohibits Individuals With Serious Mental Illnesses from Being Sentenced to Death Bill Passed - House (76 - 18)
May 23, 2019 NH HB 455 Repeals the Death Penalty Veto Override Passed - House (247 - 123)
May 21, 2019 OR SB 1013 Redefines the Crime of Aggravated Murder Bill Passed - Senate (18 - 9)
April 11, 2019 NH HB 455 Repeals the Death Penalty Bill Passed - Senate (17 - 6)
March 7, 2019 NH HB 455 Repeals the Death Penalty Bill Passed - House (279 - 88)
Jan. 29, 2019 SC S 176 Authorizes Death Penalty by Firing Squad Bill Passed - Senate (26 - 13)
May 18, 2017 National HR 115 Thin Blue Line Act Bill Passed - House (271 - 143)
May 16, 2017 AL SB 187 Reduces Time to File Appeals for Death Row Inmates Bill Passed - House (74 - 26)
May 9, 2017 DE HB 125 Authorizes Capital Punishment Bill Passed - House (26 - 16)
April 18, 2017 AL SB 12 Authorizes Use of Nitrogen in Death Penalty Executions Bill Passed - Senate (18 - 7)
April 20, 2016 VA HB 815 Amends Death Penalty Procedures Bill Passed - Senate (22 - 16)
April 20, 2016 VA HB 815 Amends Death Penalty Procedures Bill Passed - House (59 - 40)
April 7, 2016 AL SB 237 Establishes Innocence Inquiry Commission Bill Passed - Senate (20 - 6)
March 25, 2016 MS SB 2237 Establishes Identity Protections for Execution Teams Bill Passed - House (79 - 40)
March 11, 2016 VA HB 815 Amends Death Penalty Procedures Conference Report Adopted - Senate (22 - 17)
March 11, 2016 VA HB 815 Amends Death Penalty Procedures Conference Report Adopted - House (65 - 32)
March 2, 2016 UT SB 189 Repeals Death Penalty Bill Passed - Senate (15 - 12)
March 1, 2016 MS SB 2237 Establishes Identity Protections for Execution Teams Bill Passed - Senate (32 - 18)
Feb. 10, 2016 VA HB 815 Amends Death Penalty Procedures Bill Passed - House (62 - 33)
Jan. 28, 2016 DE SB 40 Repeals the Death Penalty Bill Failed - House (16 - 23)
July 29, 2015 NC HB 774 Authorizes Certain Medical Professionals to Monitor Executions Concurrence Vote Passed - House (74 - 34)
July 27, 2015 NC HB 774 Authorizes Certain Medical Professionals to Monitor Executions Bill Passed - Senate (33 - 16)
May 27, 2015 NE LB 268 Repeals the Death Penalty Veto Override Passed - Senate (30 - 19)
April 29, 2015 NC HB 774 Authorizes Certain Medical Professionals to Monitor Executions Bill Passed - House (84 - 33)
April 2, 2015 DE SB 40 Repeals the Death Penalty Bill Passed - Senate (11 - 9)
March 11, 2015 AL HB 18 Authorizes Execution by Electrocution Bill Passed - House (76 - 26)
March 10, 2015 UT HB 11 Authorizes Execution by Firing Squad Bill Passed - Senate (18 - 10)
Feb. 13, 2015 UT HB 11 Authorizes Execution by Firing Squad Bill Passed - House (39 - 34)
Feb. 12, 2015 WY SF 13 Authorizes Firing Squads as an Alternative Method of Execution Concurrence Vote Failed - Senate (14 - 12)
Feb. 12, 2015 WY SF 13 Authorizes Firing Squads as an Alternative Method of Execution Bill Passed - House (32 - 28)
Feb. 10, 2015 VA SB 1393 Authorizes Changes to Lethal Injection Drug Regulations Bill Passed - Senate (23 - 14)
Jan. 16, 2015 WY SF 13 Authorizes Firing Squads as an Alternative Method of Execution Bill Passed - Senate (17 - 12)
Dec. 17, 2014 OH HB 663 Requires Confidentiality of Death Penalty Information Concurrence Vote Passed - House (66 - 23)
Dec. 11, 2014 OH HB 663 Requires Confidentiality of Death Penalty Information Bill Passed - Senate (20 - 10)
April 17, 2014 TN SB 2580 Authorizes the Use of Certain Execution Methods Concurrence Vote Passed - Senate (25 - 4)
April 17, 2014 NH HB 1170 Repeals the Death Penalty Bill Failed - Senate (12 - 12)
April 16, 2014 TN SB 2580 Authorizes the Use of Certain Execution Methods Bill Passed - House (68 - 13)
March 12, 2014 NH Amdt 916h Exempts Individuals Convicted of Capital Murder from the Death Penalty Amendment Rejected - House (85 - 245)
March 12, 2014 NH HB 1170 Repeals the Death Penalty Bill Passed - House (225 - 104)
March 6, 2014 AL HB 379 Requires Confidentiality for Lethal-Injection Drug Suppliers Bill Passed - House (77 - 19)
Feb. 13, 2014 KS HB 2389 Establishes Time Limits on Death Penalty Appeals Process Bill Passed - Senate (27 - 13)
Jan. 22, 2014 VA HB 1052 Authorizes the Use of Alternative Methods of Execution Bill Passed - House (64 - 32)
June 12, 2013 NC SB 306 Repeals the Racial Justice Act Concurrence Vote Passed - Senate (33 - 16)
June 5, 2013 NC SB 306 Repeals the Racial Justice Act Bill Passed - House (77 - 39)
April 29, 2013 FL HB 7083 Limits Post-Conviction Death Penalty Appeals Bill Passed - Senate (28 - 10)
April 25, 2013 FL HB 7083 Limits Post-Conviction Death Penalty Appeals Bill Passed - House (84 - 34)
April 3, 2013 NC SB 306 Repeals the Racial Justice Act Bill Passed - Senate (33 - 14)
March 26, 2013 DE SB 19 Repeals the Death Penalty Bill Passed - Senate (11 - 10)
March 15, 2013 MD SB 276 Repeals the Death Penalty Bill Passed - House (82 - 56)
March 6, 2013 MD SB 276 Repeals the Death Penalty Bill Passed - Senate (27 - 20)
July 2, 2012 NC SB 416 Death Penalty Discrimination Veto Override Passed - House (72 - 48)
July 2, 2012 NC SB 416 Death Penalty Discrimination Veto Override Passed - Senate (31 - 11)
June 20, 2012 NC SB 416 Death Penalty Discrimination Concurrence Vote Passed - Senate (30 - 18)
June 13, 2012 NC SB 416 Death Penalty Discrimination Bill Passed - House (73 - 47)
April 11, 2012 CT SB 280 Repeals the Death Penalty Bill Passed - House (86 - 62)
April 4, 2012 CT SB 280 Repeals the Death Penalty Bill Passed - Senate (20 - 16)
Jan. 4, 2012 NC SB 9 Death Penalty Discrimination Veto Override Passed - Senate (31 - 19)
Nov. 28, 2011 NC SB 9 Death Penalty Discrimination Concurrence Vote Passed - Senate (27 - 17)
June 16, 2011 NC SB 9 Death Penalty Discrimination Bill Passed - House (64 - 52)
Feb. 15, 2011 MT SB 185 Abolish the Death Penalty Bill Passed - Senate (26 - 24)
Jan. 11, 2011 IL SB 3539 Abolishing the Death Penalty Concurrence Vote Passed - Senate (32 - 25)
Jan. 6, 2011 IL SB 3539 Abolishing the Death Penalty Bill Passed - House (60 - 54)
March 25, 2010 NE LB 1105 Death Penalty Cost Study Motion Rejected - Senate (22 - 22)
Feb. 3, 2010 VA HB 502 Expanding Death Penalty Eligibility to Accomplices Bill Passed - House (74 - 24)
Aug. 5, 2009 NC SB 461 Racial Discrimination in Capital Sentences Concurrence Vote Passed - Senate (25 - 18)
July 15, 2009 NC SB 461 Racial Discrimination in Capital Sentences Bill Passed - House (61 - 54)
May 28, 2009 NE LB 36 Requiring Lethal Injection Bill Passed - Senate (34 - 12)
May 14, 2009 NC SB 461 Racial Discrimination in Capital Sentences Bill Passed - Senate (36 - 10)
May 13, 2009 CT HB 6578 Death Penalty Replacement Bill Passed - House (90 - 56)
May 6, 2009 CO HB 1274 Repeals Death Penalty Conference Report Rejected - Senate (17 - 18)
April 29, 2009 NH HB 556 Abolishing the Death Penalty Bill Tabled - Senate (13 - 11)
April 21, 2009 CO HB 1274 Repeals Death Penalty Bill Passed - House (33 - 32)
March 26, 2009 MD SB 279 Capital Punishment Restrictions Bill Passed - House (87 - 52)
March 25, 2009 NH HB 556 Abolishing the Death Penalty Bill Passed - House (193 - 174)
March 13, 2009 NM HB 285 Abolishing the Death Penalty Bill Passed - Senate (24 - 18)
March 12, 2009 UT SJR 14 Legislative Regulation of Death Row Appeals Joint Resolution Failed - House (38 - 35)
March 5, 2009 MD SB 279 Capital Punishment Restrictions Bill Passed - Senate (34 - 13)
March 2, 2009 UT SJR 14 Legislative Regulation of Death Row Appeals Joint Resolution Passed - Senate (23 - 6)
Feb. 25, 2009 VA SB 961 Expanding Death Penalty Eligibility to Accomplices Bill Passed - House (74 - 26)
Feb. 17, 2009 MT SB 236 Abolition of Death Penalty Bill Passed - Senate (27 - 23)
Feb. 11, 2009 NM HB 285 Abolishing The Death Penalty Bill Passed - House (40 - 28)
Jan. 27, 2009 VA SB 961 Expanding Death Penalty Eligibility to Accomplices Bill Passed - Senate (24 - 16)
June 18, 2008 NY S 4632 Reinstate the Death Penalty Bill Passed - Senate (36 - 21)
March 25, 2008 NE LB 1063 Abolishing the Death Penalty Motion Rejected - Senate (20 - 28)
March 19, 2008 GA Fleming AM 29 0700 Amending Capital Punishment Sentencing Procedures Amendment Adopted - House (100 - 66)
March 19, 2008 GA SB 145 Amending Sentencing Guidelines for Murder Bill Passed - House (112 - 55)
Feb. 25, 2008 VA HB 933 "Triggerman Rule" in Capital Murder Cases Bill Passed - Senate (24 - 16)
Feb. 8, 2008 VA HB 933 "Triggerman Rule" in Capital Murder Cases Bill Passed - House (77 - 21)
Dec. 13, 2007 NJ S 171 Eliminating the Death Penalty Bill Passed - House (44 - 36)
Dec. 10, 2007 NJ S 171 Eliminating the Death Penalty Bill Passed - Senate (21 - 16)
July 20, 2007 National HR 2669 Student Loan Lender Subsidy Cuts and Student Grants Bill Passed - Senate (78 - 18)
May 14, 2007 NY S 319 Death Penalty For Certain Murders Bill Passed - Senate (37 - 24)
April 4, 2007 VA HB 2347 Capital Murder of a Witness Veto Override Passed - House (83 - 16)
April 4, 2007 VA Sub HB 2348 Extension of "Triggerman Rule" Veto Override Passed - House (79 - 21)
April 4, 2007 VA Sub HB 2348 Extension of "Triggerman Rule" Veto Override Failed - Senate (24 - 14)
April 4, 2007 VA HB 2347 Capital Murder of a Witness Veto Override Passed - Senate (29 - 10)
March 20, 2007 NE LB 476 Elimination of the Death Penalty Bill Failed - Senate (24 - 25)
Date No. Title Outcome
2/26 SB 20-100 Repeals the Death Penalty Bill Passed - House (38 - 27)
1/31 SB 20-100 Repeals the Death Penalty Bill Passed - Senate (19 - 13)
6/19 SB 1013 Redefines the Crime of Aggravated Murder Bill Passed - House (33 - 26)
6/05 HB 136 Prohibits Individuals With Serious Mental Illnesses from Being Sentenced to Death Bill Passed - House (76 - 18)
5/23 HB 455 Repeals the Death Penalty Veto Override Passed - House (247 - 123)
5/21 SB 1013 Redefines the Crime of Aggravated Murder Bill Passed - Senate (18 - 9)
4/11 HB 455 Repeals the Death Penalty Bill Passed - Senate (17 - 6)
3/07 HB 455 Repeals the Death Penalty Bill Passed - House (279 - 88)
1/29 S 176 Authorizes Death Penalty by Firing Squad Bill Passed - Senate (26 - 13)
5/18 HR 115 Thin Blue Line Act Bill Passed - House (271 - 143)
5/16 SB 187 Reduces Time to File Appeals for Death Row Inmates Bill Passed - House (74 - 26)
5/09 HB 125 Authorizes Capital Punishment Bill Passed - House (26 - 16)
4/18 SB 12 Authorizes Use of Nitrogen in Death Penalty Executions Bill Passed - Senate (18 - 7)
4/20 HB 815 Amends Death Penalty Procedures Bill Passed - Senate (22 - 16)
4/20 HB 815 Amends Death Penalty Procedures Bill Passed - House (59 - 40)
4/07 SB 237 Establishes Innocence Inquiry Commission Bill Passed - Senate (20 - 6)
3/25 SB 2237 Establishes Identity Protections for Execution Teams Bill Passed - House (79 - 40)
3/11 HB 815 Amends Death Penalty Procedures Conference Report Adopted - Senate (22 - 17)
3/11 HB 815 Amends Death Penalty Procedures Conference Report Adopted - House (65 - 32)
3/02 SB 189 Repeals Death Penalty Bill Passed - Senate (15 - 12)
3/01 SB 2237 Establishes Identity Protections for Execution Teams Bill Passed - Senate (32 - 18)
2/10 HB 815 Amends Death Penalty Procedures Bill Passed - House (62 - 33)
1/28 SB 40 Repeals the Death Penalty Bill Failed - House (16 - 23)
7/29 HB 774 Authorizes Certain Medical Professionals to Monitor Executions Concurrence Vote Passed - House (74 - 34)
7/27 HB 774 Authorizes Certain Medical Professionals to Monitor Executions Bill Passed - Senate (33 - 16)
5/27 LB 268 Repeals the Death Penalty Veto Override Passed - Senate (30 - 19)
4/29 HB 774 Authorizes Certain Medical Professionals to Monitor Executions Bill Passed - House (84 - 33)
4/02 SB 40 Repeals the Death Penalty Bill Passed - Senate (11 - 9)
3/11 HB 18 Authorizes Execution by Electrocution Bill Passed - House (76 - 26)
3/10 HB 11 Authorizes Execution by Firing Squad Bill Passed - Senate (18 - 10)
2/13 HB 11 Authorizes Execution by Firing Squad Bill Passed - House (39 - 34)
2/12 SF 13 Authorizes Firing Squads as an Alternative Method of Execution Concurrence Vote Failed - Senate (14 - 12)
2/12 SF 13 Authorizes Firing Squads as an Alternative Method of Execution Bill Passed - House (32 - 28)
2/10 SB 1393 Authorizes Changes to Lethal Injection Drug Regulations Bill Passed - Senate (23 - 14)
1/16 SF 13 Authorizes Firing Squads as an Alternative Method of Execution Bill Passed - Senate (17 - 12)
12/17 HB 663 Requires Confidentiality of Death Penalty Information Concurrence Vote Passed - House (66 - 23)
12/11 HB 663 Requires Confidentiality of Death Penalty Information Bill Passed - Senate (20 - 10)
4/17 SB 2580 Authorizes the Use of Certain Execution Methods Concurrence Vote Passed - Senate (25 - 4)
4/17 HB 1170 Repeals the Death Penalty Bill Failed - Senate (12 - 12)
4/16 SB 2580 Authorizes the Use of Certain Execution Methods Bill Passed - House (68 - 13)
3/12 Amdt 916h Exempts Individuals Convicted of Capital Murder from the Death Penalty Amendment Rejected - House (85 - 245)
3/12 HB 1170 Repeals the Death Penalty Bill Passed - House (225 - 104)
3/06 HB 379 Requires Confidentiality for Lethal-Injection Drug Suppliers Bill Passed - House (77 - 19)
2/13 HB 2389 Establishes Time Limits on Death Penalty Appeals Process Bill Passed - Senate (27 - 13)
1/22 HB 1052 Authorizes the Use of Alternative Methods of Execution Bill Passed - House (64 - 32)
6/12 SB 306 Repeals the Racial Justice Act Concurrence Vote Passed - Senate (33 - 16)
6/05 SB 306 Repeals the Racial Justice Act Bill Passed - House (77 - 39)
4/29 HB 7083 Limits Post-Conviction Death Penalty Appeals Bill Passed - Senate (28 - 10)
4/25 HB 7083 Limits Post-Conviction Death Penalty Appeals Bill Passed - House (84 - 34)
4/03 SB 306 Repeals the Racial Justice Act Bill Passed - Senate (33 - 14)
3/26 SB 19 Repeals the Death Penalty Bill Passed - Senate (11 - 10)
3/15 SB 276 Repeals the Death Penalty Bill Passed - House (82 - 56)
3/06 SB 276 Repeals the Death Penalty Bill Passed - Senate (27 - 20)
7/02 SB 416 Death Penalty Discrimination Veto Override Passed - House (72 - 48)
7/02 SB 416 Death Penalty Discrimination Veto Override Passed - Senate (31 - 11)
6/20 SB 416 Death Penalty Discrimination Concurrence Vote Passed - Senate (30 - 18)
6/13 SB 416 Death Penalty Discrimination Bill Passed - House (73 - 47)
4/11 SB 280 Repeals the Death Penalty Bill Passed - House (86 - 62)
4/04 SB 280 Repeals the Death Penalty Bill Passed - Senate (20 - 16)
1/04 SB 9 Death Penalty Discrimination Veto Override Passed - Senate (31 - 19)
11/28 SB 9 Death Penalty Discrimination Concurrence Vote Passed - Senate (27 - 17)
6/16 SB 9 Death Penalty Discrimination Bill Passed - House (64 - 52)
2/15 SB 185 Abolish the Death Penalty Bill Passed - Senate (26 - 24)
1/11 SB 3539 Abolishing the Death Penalty Concurrence Vote Passed - Senate (32 - 25)
1/06 SB 3539 Abolishing the Death Penalty Bill Passed - House (60 - 54)
3/25 LB 1105 Death Penalty Cost Study Motion Rejected - Senate (22 - 22)
2/03 HB 502 Expanding Death Penalty Eligibility to Accomplices Bill Passed - House (74 - 24)
8/05 SB 461 Racial Discrimination in Capital Sentences Concurrence Vote Passed - Senate (25 - 18)
7/15 SB 461 Racial Discrimination in Capital Sentences Bill Passed - House (61 - 54)
5/28 LB 36 Requiring Lethal Injection Bill Passed - Senate (34 - 12)
5/14 SB 461 Racial Discrimination in Capital Sentences Bill Passed - Senate (36 - 10)
5/13 HB 6578 Death Penalty Replacement Bill Passed - House (90 - 56)
5/06 HB 1274 Repeals Death Penalty Conference Report Rejected - Senate (17 - 18)
4/29 HB 556 Abolishing the Death Penalty Bill Tabled - Senate (13 - 11)
4/21 HB 1274 Repeals Death Penalty Bill Passed - House (33 - 32)
3/26 SB 279 Capital Punishment Restrictions Bill Passed - House (87 - 52)
3/25 HB 556 Abolishing the Death Penalty Bill Passed - House (193 - 174)
3/13 HB 285 Abolishing the Death Penalty Bill Passed - Senate (24 - 18)
3/12 SJR 14 Legislative Regulation of Death Row Appeals Joint Resolution Failed - House (38 - 35)
3/05 SB 279 Capital Punishment Restrictions Bill Passed - Senate (34 - 13)
3/02 SJR 14 Legislative Regulation of Death Row Appeals Joint Resolution Passed - Senate (23 - 6)
2/25 SB 961 Expanding Death Penalty Eligibility to Accomplices Bill Passed - House (74 - 26)
2/17 SB 236 Abolition of Death Penalty Bill Passed - Senate (27 - 23)
2/11 HB 285 Abolishing The Death Penalty Bill Passed - House (40 - 28)
1/27 SB 961 Expanding Death Penalty Eligibility to Accomplices Bill Passed - Senate (24 - 16)
6/18 S 4632 Reinstate the Death Penalty Bill Passed - Senate (36 - 21)
3/25 LB 1063 Abolishing the Death Penalty Motion Rejected - Senate (20 - 28)
3/19 Fleming AM 29 0700 Amending Capital Punishment Sentencing Procedures Amendment Adopted - House (100 - 66)
3/19 SB 145 Amending Sentencing Guidelines for Murder Bill Passed - House (112 - 55)
2/25 HB 933 "Triggerman Rule" in Capital Murder Cases Bill Passed - Senate (24 - 16)
2/08 HB 933 "Triggerman Rule" in Capital Murder Cases Bill Passed - House (77 - 21)
12/13 S 171 Eliminating the Death Penalty Bill Passed - House (44 - 36)
12/10 S 171 Eliminating the Death Penalty Bill Passed - Senate (21 - 16)
7/20 HR 2669 Student Loan Lender Subsidy Cuts and Student Grants Bill Passed - Senate (78 - 18)
5/14 S 319 Death Penalty For Certain Murders Bill Passed - Senate (37 - 24)
4/04 HB 2347 Capital Murder of a Witness Veto Override Passed - House (83 - 16)
4/04 Sub HB 2348 Extension of "Triggerman Rule" Veto Override Passed - House (79 - 21)
4/04 Sub HB 2348 Extension of "Triggerman Rule" Veto Override Failed - Senate (24 - 14)
4/04 HB 2347 Capital Murder of a Witness Veto Override Passed - Senate (29 - 10)
3/20 LB 476 Elimination of the Death Penalty Bill Failed - Senate (24 - 25)

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