Key Votes

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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. Our summaries are written by Vote Smart's staff and interns, who adhere to our strict policies and procedures in order to guarantee absolute impartiality and accuracy. They do not necessarily reflect the content of the final version of the bill, but rather the version voted on in that stage. While many procedural votes take place before a full chamber vote, our voting stages reflect the final reading of each chamber vote. Each key vote selection is reviewed by the project's community of advisors, who are political scientists and journalists from all fifty states.

For more information about the legislative process, see here.


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Date State Bill No. Title Outcome
Dec. 20, 2011 PA SB 1249 Congressional Redistricting Bill Passed - House (136 - 61)
Dec. 20, 2011 PA SB 1249 Congressional Redistricting Bill Passed - House (136 - 61)
Dec. 14, 2011 National S J Res 10 Proposing a Balanced Budget Amendment to the U.S. Constitution (Hatch Bill) Amendment Rejected - Senate (47 - 53)
Dec. 14, 2011 OH HB 369 Congressional Redistricting Bill Passed - Senate (27 - 6)
Dec. 14, 2011 OH HB 369 Congressional Redistricting Bill Passed - Senate (27 - 6)
Dec. 14, 2011 PA SB 1249 Congressional Redistricting Bill Passed - Senate (26 - 24)
Dec. 14, 2011 National S J Res 24 Proposing a Balanced Budget Amendment to the U.S. Constitution (Udall Bill) Amendment Rejected - Senate (21 - 79)
Dec. 14, 2011 PA SB 1249 Congressional Redistricting Bill Passed - Senate (26 - 24)
Dec. 14, 2011 OH HB 369 Congressional Redistricting Bill Passed - House (77 - 17)
Dec. 14, 2011 OH HB 369 Congressional Redistricting Bill Passed - House (77 - 17)
Dec. 6, 2011 National PN 5 Nomination of Caitlin Joan Halligan to the District of Columbia Circuit Court Cloture Not Invoked - Senate (54 - 45)
Dec. 2, 2011 National HR 3010 Establishes Additional Requirements for Regulatory Agencies Bill Passed - House (253 - 167)
Dec. 1, 2011 National HR 3463 Repeals Taxpayer Financing of Presidential Election Campaigns Bill Passed - House (235 - 190)
Nov. 30, 2011 NH CACR 14 Constitutional Amendment Authorizing the Legislature to Set Standards for Public Education Amendment Rejected - House (114 - 264)
Nov. 18, 2011 National H J Res 2 Proposing a Balanced Budget Amendment to the U.S. Constitution Joint Resolution Failed - House (261 - 165)
Nov. 16, 2011 National HR 822 Requiring State Reciprocity for Carrying Concealed Firearms Bill Passed - House (272 - 154)
Nov. 10, 2011 MI HB 4326 Prohibits State Agencies from Adopting Rules Stricter than Federal Rules Concurrence Vote Passed - House (59 - 48)
Nov. 10, 2011 MI HB 4326 Prohibits State Agencies from Adopting Rules Stricter than Federal Rules Bill Passed - Senate (25 - 11)
Nov. 10, 2011 National S J Res 27 Disapproval of EPA Cross-Border Pollution Rule Motion Rejected - Senate (41 - 56)
Nov. 10, 2011 ND HB 1474 Establishing a Health Benefit Exchange Bill Failed - House (30 - 64)
Nov. 10, 2011 MI SB 693 Establishes MIHealth Marketplace Health Insurance Exchange Bill Passed - Senate (25 - 12)
Nov. 9, 2011 MI HB 4005 School Board Election Dates Concurrence Vote Passed - House (69 - 39)
Nov. 9, 2011 ND HB 1473 State Legislative Redistricting Bill Passed - Senate (33 - 14)
Nov. 9, 2011 ND HB 1473 State Legislative Redistricting Bill Passed - Senate (33 - 14)
Nov. 8, 2011 ND HB 1473 State Legislative Redistricting Bill Passed - House (60 - 32)
Nov. 8, 2011 ND HB 1473 State Legislative Redistricting Bill Passed - House (60 - 32)
Nov. 7, 2011 NC HB 777 State House Redistricting Bill Passed - House (62 - 49)
Nov. 7, 2011 NC HB 777 State House Redistricting Bill Passed - House (62 - 49)
Nov. 7, 2011 NC SB 283 State Senate Redistricting Bill Passed - House (61 - 46)
Nov. 7, 2011 NC HB 777 State House Redistricting Bill Passed - Senate (24 - 10)
Nov. 7, 2011 NC HB 777 State House Redistricting Bill Passed - Senate (24 - 10)
Nov. 7, 2011 NC SB 689 Congressional Redistricting Bill Passed - House (62 - 46)
Nov. 7, 2011 NC SB 689 Congressional Redistricting Bill Passed - House (62 - 46)
Nov. 7, 2011 NC SB 283 State Senate Redistricting Bill Passed - House (61 - 46)
Nov. 7, 2011 NC SB 283 State Senate Redistricting Bill Passed - Senate (25 - 12)
Nov. 7, 2011 NC SB 689 Congressional Redistricting Bill Passed - Senate (25 - 12)
Nov. 7, 2011 NC SB 689 Congressional Redistricting Bill Passed - Senate (25 - 12)
Nov. 7, 2011 NC SB 283 State Senate Redistricting Bill Passed - Senate (25 - 12)
Nov. 3, 2011 MI HB 4005 School Board Election Dates Bill Passed - Senate (24 - 14)
Nov. 1, 2011 National H Con Res 13 Encourages Display of "In God We Trust" in Public Buildings and Schools Joint Resolution Passed - House (396 - 9)
Oct. 26, 2011 National HR 1904 Southeast Arizona Land Exchange and Conservation Act of 2011 Bill Passed - House (235 - 186)
Oct. 24, 2011 SD HB 1001 State Legislative Redistricting Bill Passed - Senate (31 - 4)
Oct. 24, 2011 SD HB 1001 State Legislative Redistricting Bill Passed - Senate (31 - 4)
Oct. 24, 2011 SD HB 1001 State Legislative Redistricting Bill Passed - House (50 - 18)
Oct. 24, 2011 SD HB 1001 State Legislative Redistricting Bill Passed - House (50 - 18)
Oct. 21, 2011 OH HB 318 Establishing New Dates for Primaries Concurrence Vote Passed - House (55 - 37)
Oct. 20, 2011 OH HB 318 Establishing New Dates for Primaries Bill Passed - Senate (20 - 10)
Oct. 20, 2011 MD SB 1 Congressional Redistricting Concurrence Vote Passed - Senate (32 - 13)
Oct. 20, 2011 MD SB 1 Congressional Redistricting Concurrence Vote Passed - Senate (32 - 13)
Oct. 18, 2011 PA SB 1151 Fiscal Emergency Bill Concurrence Vote Passed - Senate (37 - 13)
Oct. 18, 2011 MD SB 1 Congressional Redistricting Bill Passed - House (91 - 46)
Oct. 18, 2011 MD SB 1 Congressional Redistricting Bill Passed - House (91 - 46)
Oct. 17, 2011 UT SB 3002 Congressional Redistricting Concurrence Vote Passed - Senate (20 - 5)
Oct. 17, 2011 UT SB 3002 Congressional Redistricting Concurrence Vote Passed - Senate (20 - 5)
Oct. 17, 2011 UT SB 3002 Congressional Redistricting Bill Passed - House (50 - 19)
Oct. 17, 2011 UT SB 3002 Congressional Redistricting Bill Passed - House (50 - 19)
Oct. 17, 2011 MO SS for HCS for HB 3 Presidential Elections Amendment Rejected - Senate (16 - 16)
Oct. 14, 2011 National HR 2273 Coal Residuals Reuse and Management Act Bill Passed - House (267 - 144)
Oct. 13, 2011 MI HB 4815 Exempts Incandescent Light Bulbs Made in Michigan from Congressional Authority Bill Passed - House (62 - 46)
Oct. 4, 2011 UT HB 3001 State House Redistricting Concurrence Vote Passed - House (71 - 1)
Oct. 4, 2011 UT HB 3001 State House Redistricting Concurrence Vote Passed - House (71 - 1)
Oct. 4, 2011 UT SB 3001 State Senate Redistricting Bill Passed - House (60 - 9)
Oct. 4, 2011 UT SB 3001 State Senate Redistricting Bill Passed - House (60 - 9)
Oct. 4, 2011 UT HB 3001 State House Redistricting Bill Passed - Senate (26 - 1)
Oct. 4, 2011 UT HB 3001 State House Redistricting Bill Passed - Senate (26 - 1)
Sept. 23, 2011 NM HB 39 State House Redistricting Bill Passed - Senate (24 - 16)
Sept. 23, 2011 NM HB 39 State House Redistricting Bill Passed - Senate (24 - 16)
Sept. 23, 2011 National H Amdt 799 Suspends Cross State Air Pollution Rule Amendment Adopted - House (234 - 188)
Sept. 22, 2011 NM HB 39 State House Redistricting Bill Passed - House (36 - 34)
Sept. 22, 2011 NM HB 39 State House Redistricting Bill Passed - House (36 - 34)
Sept. 21, 2011 OH HB 319 Congressional Redistricting Concurrence Vote Passed - House (60 - 35)
Sept. 21, 2011 OH HB 319 Congressional Redistricting Concurrence Vote Passed - House (60 - 35)
Sept. 21, 2011 OH HB 319 Congressional Redistricting Bill Passed - Senate (24 - 7)
Sept. 21, 2011 OH HB 319 Congressional Redistricting Bill Passed - Senate (24 - 7)
Sept. 21, 2011 NM SB 33 State Senate Redistricting Bill Passed - Senate (27 - 15)
Sept. 21, 2011 NM SB 33 State Senate Redistricting Bill Passed - Senate (27 - 15)
Sept. 19, 2011 NM SB 22 Congressional Redistricting Bill Passed - Senate (27 - 14)
Sept. 19, 2011 NM SB 22 Congressional Redistricting Bill Passed - Senate (27 - 14)
Sept. 15, 2011 OH HB 319 Congressional Redistricting Bill Passed - House (56 - 36)
Sept. 15, 2011 OH HB 319 Congressional Redistricting Bill Passed - House (56 - 36)
Sept. 14, 2011 National H J Res 77 Disapproval of the President's Authority to Raise the Debt Limit Joint Resolution Passed - House (232 - 186)
Sept. 13, 2011 NC SB 514 Constitutional Amendment to Define Marriage Concurrence Vote Passed - Senate (30 - 16)
Sept. 13, 2011 WI SB 115 Presidential Primary Date Bill Passed - House (65 - 32)
Sept. 12, 2011 NC SB 514 Constitutional Amendment to Define Marriage Bill Passed - House (75 - 42)
Sept. 10, 2011 CA SB 202 Limiting Ballot Initiatives to the General Election Concurrence Vote Passed - Senate (23 - 15)
Sept. 9, 2011 CA SB 51 Compliance with Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act Concurrence Vote Passed - Senate (25 - 16)
Sept. 9, 2011 CA SB 922 Project Labor Agreements Concurrence Vote Passed - Senate (24 - 14)
Sept. 9, 2011 CA SB 292 Authorizes Governor to Expedite Environmental Review Concurrence Vote Passed - Senate (32 - 7)
Sept. 9, 2011 CA SB 51 Compliance with Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act Bill Passed - House (53 - 26)
Sept. 9, 2011 CA SB 202 Limiting Ballot Initiatives to the General Election Bill Passed - House (45 - 30)
Sept. 9, 2011 CA SB 922 Project Labor Agreements Bill Passed - House (52 - 27)
Sept. 9, 2011 MO HB 1 Authority Over the Saint Louis Police Department Bill Passed - House (123 - 27)
Sept. 7, 2011 NH SB 129 Requiring Photo Identification to Vote Veto Override Failed - Senate (7 - 17)
Sept. 7, 2011 NH SB 154 Withdrawing from the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative Veto Override Failed - Senate (15 - 9)
Sept. 7, 2011 CA SB 292 Authorizes Governor to Expedite Environmental Review Bill Passed - House (63 - 13)
Sept. 6, 2011 CA AB 1236 Prohibits Requirement of Electronic Employment Verification Bill Passed - Senate (24 - 14)
Aug. 31, 2011 GA HB 20EX Congressional Redistricting Bill Passed - Senate (34 - 21)
Aug. 31, 2011 GA HB 20EX Congressional Redistricting Bill Passed - Senate (34 - 21)
Aug. 29, 2011 CA AB 46 Small City Disincorporation Bill Failed - Senate (13 - 17)
Aug. 25, 2011 GA HB 20EX Congressional Redistricting Bill Passed - House (110 - 60)
Date No. Title Outcome
12/20 SB 1249 Congressional Redistricting Bill Passed - House (136 - 61)
12/20 SB 1249 Congressional Redistricting Bill Passed - House (136 - 61)
12/14 S J Res 10 Proposing a Balanced Budget Amendment to the U.S. Constitution (Hatch Bill) Amendment Rejected - Senate (47 - 53)
12/14 HB 369 Congressional Redistricting Bill Passed - Senate (27 - 6)
12/14 HB 369 Congressional Redistricting Bill Passed - Senate (27 - 6)
12/14 SB 1249 Congressional Redistricting Bill Passed - Senate (26 - 24)
12/14 S J Res 24 Proposing a Balanced Budget Amendment to the U.S. Constitution (Udall Bill) Amendment Rejected - Senate (21 - 79)
12/14 SB 1249 Congressional Redistricting Bill Passed - Senate (26 - 24)
12/14 HB 369 Congressional Redistricting Bill Passed - House (77 - 17)
12/14 HB 369 Congressional Redistricting Bill Passed - House (77 - 17)
12/06 PN 5 Nomination of Caitlin Joan Halligan to the District of Columbia Circuit Court Cloture Not Invoked - Senate (54 - 45)
12/02 HR 3010 Establishes Additional Requirements for Regulatory Agencies Bill Passed - House (253 - 167)
12/01 HR 3463 Repeals Taxpayer Financing of Presidential Election Campaigns Bill Passed - House (235 - 190)
11/30 CACR 14 Constitutional Amendment Authorizing the Legislature to Set Standards for Public Education Amendment Rejected - House (114 - 264)
11/18 H J Res 2 Proposing a Balanced Budget Amendment to the U.S. Constitution Joint Resolution Failed - House (261 - 165)
11/16 HR 822 Requiring State Reciprocity for Carrying Concealed Firearms Bill Passed - House (272 - 154)
11/10 HB 4326 Prohibits State Agencies from Adopting Rules Stricter than Federal Rules Concurrence Vote Passed - House (59 - 48)
11/10 HB 4326 Prohibits State Agencies from Adopting Rules Stricter than Federal Rules Bill Passed - Senate (25 - 11)
11/10 S J Res 27 Disapproval of EPA Cross-Border Pollution Rule Motion Rejected - Senate (41 - 56)
11/10 HB 1474 Establishing a Health Benefit Exchange Bill Failed - House (30 - 64)
11/10 SB 693 Establishes MIHealth Marketplace Health Insurance Exchange Bill Passed - Senate (25 - 12)
11/09 HB 4005 School Board Election Dates Concurrence Vote Passed - House (69 - 39)
11/09 HB 1473 State Legislative Redistricting Bill Passed - Senate (33 - 14)
11/09 HB 1473 State Legislative Redistricting Bill Passed - Senate (33 - 14)
11/08 HB 1473 State Legislative Redistricting Bill Passed - House (60 - 32)
11/08 HB 1473 State Legislative Redistricting Bill Passed - House (60 - 32)
11/07 HB 777 State House Redistricting Bill Passed - House (62 - 49)
11/07 HB 777 State House Redistricting Bill Passed - House (62 - 49)
11/07 SB 283 State Senate Redistricting Bill Passed - House (61 - 46)
11/07 HB 777 State House Redistricting Bill Passed - Senate (24 - 10)
11/07 HB 777 State House Redistricting Bill Passed - Senate (24 - 10)
11/07 SB 689 Congressional Redistricting Bill Passed - House (62 - 46)
11/07 SB 689 Congressional Redistricting Bill Passed - House (62 - 46)
11/07 SB 283 State Senate Redistricting Bill Passed - House (61 - 46)
11/07 SB 283 State Senate Redistricting Bill Passed - Senate (25 - 12)
11/07 SB 689 Congressional Redistricting Bill Passed - Senate (25 - 12)
11/07 SB 689 Congressional Redistricting Bill Passed - Senate (25 - 12)
11/07 SB 283 State Senate Redistricting Bill Passed - Senate (25 - 12)
11/03 HB 4005 School Board Election Dates Bill Passed - Senate (24 - 14)
11/01 H Con Res 13 Encourages Display of "In God We Trust" in Public Buildings and Schools Joint Resolution Passed - House (396 - 9)
10/26 HR 1904 Southeast Arizona Land Exchange and Conservation Act of 2011 Bill Passed - House (235 - 186)
10/24 HB 1001 State Legislative Redistricting Bill Passed - Senate (31 - 4)
10/24 HB 1001 State Legislative Redistricting Bill Passed - Senate (31 - 4)
10/24 HB 1001 State Legislative Redistricting Bill Passed - House (50 - 18)
10/24 HB 1001 State Legislative Redistricting Bill Passed - House (50 - 18)
10/21 HB 318 Establishing New Dates for Primaries Concurrence Vote Passed - House (55 - 37)
10/20 HB 318 Establishing New Dates for Primaries Bill Passed - Senate (20 - 10)
10/20 SB 1 Congressional Redistricting Concurrence Vote Passed - Senate (32 - 13)
10/20 SB 1 Congressional Redistricting Concurrence Vote Passed - Senate (32 - 13)
10/18 SB 1151 Fiscal Emergency Bill Concurrence Vote Passed - Senate (37 - 13)
10/18 SB 1 Congressional Redistricting Bill Passed - House (91 - 46)
10/18 SB 1 Congressional Redistricting Bill Passed - House (91 - 46)
10/17 SB 3002 Congressional Redistricting Concurrence Vote Passed - Senate (20 - 5)
10/17 SB 3002 Congressional Redistricting Concurrence Vote Passed - Senate (20 - 5)
10/17 SB 3002 Congressional Redistricting Bill Passed - House (50 - 19)
10/17 SB 3002 Congressional Redistricting Bill Passed - House (50 - 19)
10/17 SS for HCS for HB 3 Presidential Elections Amendment Rejected - Senate (16 - 16)
10/14 HR 2273 Coal Residuals Reuse and Management Act Bill Passed - House (267 - 144)
10/13 HB 4815 Exempts Incandescent Light Bulbs Made in Michigan from Congressional Authority Bill Passed - House (62 - 46)
10/04 HB 3001 State House Redistricting Concurrence Vote Passed - House (71 - 1)
10/04 HB 3001 State House Redistricting Concurrence Vote Passed - House (71 - 1)
10/04 SB 3001 State Senate Redistricting Bill Passed - House (60 - 9)
10/04 SB 3001 State Senate Redistricting Bill Passed - House (60 - 9)
10/04 HB 3001 State House Redistricting Bill Passed - Senate (26 - 1)
10/04 HB 3001 State House Redistricting Bill Passed - Senate (26 - 1)
9/23 HB 39 State House Redistricting Bill Passed - Senate (24 - 16)
9/23 HB 39 State House Redistricting Bill Passed - Senate (24 - 16)
9/23 H Amdt 799 Suspends Cross State Air Pollution Rule Amendment Adopted - House (234 - 188)
9/22 HB 39 State House Redistricting Bill Passed - House (36 - 34)
9/22 HB 39 State House Redistricting Bill Passed - House (36 - 34)
9/21 HB 319 Congressional Redistricting Concurrence Vote Passed - House (60 - 35)
9/21 HB 319 Congressional Redistricting Concurrence Vote Passed - House (60 - 35)
9/21 HB 319 Congressional Redistricting Bill Passed - Senate (24 - 7)
9/21 HB 319 Congressional Redistricting Bill Passed - Senate (24 - 7)
9/21 SB 33 State Senate Redistricting Bill Passed - Senate (27 - 15)
9/21 SB 33 State Senate Redistricting Bill Passed - Senate (27 - 15)
9/19 SB 22 Congressional Redistricting Bill Passed - Senate (27 - 14)
9/19 SB 22 Congressional Redistricting Bill Passed - Senate (27 - 14)
9/15 HB 319 Congressional Redistricting Bill Passed - House (56 - 36)
9/15 HB 319 Congressional Redistricting Bill Passed - House (56 - 36)
9/14 H J Res 77 Disapproval of the President's Authority to Raise the Debt Limit Joint Resolution Passed - House (232 - 186)
9/13 SB 514 Constitutional Amendment to Define Marriage Concurrence Vote Passed - Senate (30 - 16)
9/13 SB 115 Presidential Primary Date Bill Passed - House (65 - 32)
9/12 SB 514 Constitutional Amendment to Define Marriage Bill Passed - House (75 - 42)
9/10 SB 202 Limiting Ballot Initiatives to the General Election Concurrence Vote Passed - Senate (23 - 15)
9/09 SB 51 Compliance with Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act Concurrence Vote Passed - Senate (25 - 16)
9/09 SB 922 Project Labor Agreements Concurrence Vote Passed - Senate (24 - 14)
9/09 SB 292 Authorizes Governor to Expedite Environmental Review Concurrence Vote Passed - Senate (32 - 7)
9/09 SB 51 Compliance with Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act Bill Passed - House (53 - 26)
9/09 SB 202 Limiting Ballot Initiatives to the General Election Bill Passed - House (45 - 30)
9/09 SB 922 Project Labor Agreements Bill Passed - House (52 - 27)
9/09 HB 1 Authority Over the Saint Louis Police Department Bill Passed - House (123 - 27)
9/07 SB 129 Requiring Photo Identification to Vote Veto Override Failed - Senate (7 - 17)
9/07 SB 154 Withdrawing from the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative Veto Override Failed - Senate (15 - 9)
9/07 SB 292 Authorizes Governor to Expedite Environmental Review Bill Passed - House (63 - 13)
9/06 AB 1236 Prohibits Requirement of Electronic Employment Verification Bill Passed - Senate (24 - 14)
8/31 HB 20EX Congressional Redistricting Bill Passed - Senate (34 - 21)
8/31 HB 20EX Congressional Redistricting Bill Passed - Senate (34 - 21)
8/29 AB 46 Small City Disincorporation Bill Failed - Senate (13 - 17)
8/25 HB 20EX Congressional Redistricting Bill Passed - House (110 - 60)

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