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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. 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
Dec. 15, 2011 National HR 1540 National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012 Conference Report Adopted - Senate (86 - 13)
Dec. 14, 2011 National HR 1540 National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012 Conference Report Adopted - House (283 - 136)
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 National S J Res 24 Proposing a Balanced Budget Amendment to the U.S. Constitution (Udall Bill) Amendment Rejected - Senate (21 - 79)
Dec. 1, 2011 National S Amdt 1274 Authorizes Further Detention After Trial During Wartime Amendment Rejected - Senate (41 - 59)
Dec. 1, 2011 National S Amdt 1125 Limits New Detention Rules to Prisoners Captured Outside the U.S. Amendment Rejected - Senate (45 - 55)
Dec. 1, 2011 National S Amdt 1126 Prohibits Detention of U.S. Citizens Without Trial Amendment Rejected - Senate (45 - 55)
Nov. 30, 2011 NH CACR 14 Constitutional Amendment Authorizing the Legislature to Set Standards for Public Education Amendment Rejected - House (114 - 264)
Nov. 29, 2011 National S Amdt 1107 Removes Provisions Requiring Military Custody of al-Qaeda Suspects Amendment Rejected - Senate (38 - 60)
Nov. 18, 2011 National H J Res 2 Proposing a Balanced Budget Amendment to the U.S. Constitution Joint Resolution Failed - House (261 - 165)
Oct. 21, 2011 National S Amdt 753 Prohibits the Use of Funds for Prosecution of Enemy Combatants in Civilian Courts Amendment Rejected - Senate (47 - 52)
Sept. 13, 2011 NC SB 514 Constitutional Amendment to Define Marriage Concurrence Vote Passed - Senate (30 - 16)
Sept. 12, 2011 NC SB 514 Constitutional Amendment to Define Marriage Bill Passed - House (75 - 42)
Sept. 7, 2011 NH SB 129 Requiring Photo Identification to Vote Veto Override Failed - Senate (7 - 17)
Aug. 2, 2011 National S 365 Budget Control Act of 2011 Concurrence Vote Passed - Senate (74 - 26)
Aug. 1, 2011 National S 365 Budget Control Act of 2011 Bill Passed - House (269 - 161)
July 31, 2011 National S 627 Increasing the Debt Ceiling (Reid Bill) Cloture Not Invoked - Senate (50 - 49)
July 29, 2011 National S 627 Increasing the Debt Ceiling (Boehner Bill) Bill Tabled - Senate (59 - 41)
July 29, 2011 National S 627 Increasing the Debt Ceiling (Boehner Bill) Bill Passed - House (218 - 210)
July 22, 2011 National HR 2560 Cut, Cap and Balance Act of 2011 Bill Tabled - Senate (51 - 46)
July 19, 2011 National HR 2560 Cut, Cap and Balance Act of 2011 Bill Passed - House (234 - 190)
June 30, 2011 RI S 400 Voter Identification Requirements Bill Passed - House (51 - 22)
June 23, 2011 PA HB 934 Amends Voter Identification Laws Bill Passed - House (108 - 88)
June 22, 2011 OH SJR 1 Constitutional Amendment Concerning Health Care Joint Resolution Passed - House (59 - 39)
June 15, 2011 OH SJR 1 Constitutional Amendment Concerning Health Care Joint Resolution Passed - Senate (24 - 9)
June 10, 2011 ME LD 1376 Repeal Same-Day Voter Registration Bill Passed - Senate (17 - 14)
June 9, 2011 AL HB 60 Prohibiting Mandatory Participation in any Health Care System Amendment Adopted - Senate (24 - 9)
June 9, 2011 ME LD 1376 Repeals Same-Day Voter Registration Bill Passed - House (72 - 65)
June 8, 2011 WI SB 116 Relating to Overseas Absentee Voting Bill Passed - Senate (20 - 13)
May 27, 2011 NV AB 552 DNA Samples for Felony Charges Bill Passed - House (31 - 11)
May 26, 2011 National S 990 PATRIOT Act Extension Concurrence Vote Passed - House (250 - 153)
May 26, 2011 National S 990 PATRIOT Act Extension Concurrence Vote Passed - Senate (72 - 23)
May 25, 2011 TX HB 359 Corporal Punishment in Public Schools Concurrence Vote Passed - House (80 - 64)
May 23, 2011 TX HB 359 Corporal Punishment in Public Schools Bill Passed - Senate (29 - 2)
May 23, 2011 National S 1038 PATRIOT Act Extension Cloture Invoked - Senate (74 - 8)
May 21, 2011 MN SF 1308 Prohibiting Same-Sex Marriage Amendment Adopted - House (70 - 62)
May 20, 2011 TN SB 16 Voter Identification Requirements Concurrence Vote Passed - Senate (18 - 14)
May 18, 2011 TN SJR 221 Constitutional Amendment to Prohibit State Income Tax Amendment Adopted - Senate (26 - 4)
May 16, 2011 TX SB 14 Voter Identification Requirements Conference Report Adopted - House (98 - 46)
May 13, 2011 TX HB 359 Corporal Punishment in Public Schools Bill Passed - House (84 - 55)
May 12, 2011 RI S 400 Voter Identification Requirements Bill Passed - Senate (27 - 6)
May 11, 2011 SC H 3003 Voter ID Conference Report Adopted - Senate (26 - 16)
May 11, 2011 KS SB 129 Amends Voter Identification Requirements Conference Report Rejected - Senate (15 - 23)
May 11, 2011 MN SF 1308 Prohibiting Same-Sex Marriage Amendment Adopted - Senate (38 - 27)
May 9, 2011 TX SB 14 Voter Identification Requirements Conference Report Adopted - Senate (19 - 12)
May 4, 2011 FL HJR 1179 Prohibits Public Funding of Abortions Concurrence Vote Passed - House (79 - 34)
May 4, 2011 FL SJR 2 Authorizes Exemptions from the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act Amendment Adopted - House (80 - 37)
May 4, 2011 FL HJR 381 Homestead and Property Assessment Joint Resolution Passed - Senate (25 - 12)
April 28, 2011 FL HJR 1179 Prohibits Public Funding of Abortions Bill Passed - Senate (27 - 12)
April 27, 2011 FL HJR 1179 Prohibits Public Funding of Abortions Joint Resolution Passed - House (82 - 35)
April 26, 2011 SC H 3003 Voter ID Conference Report Adopted - House (71 - 36)
April 21, 2011 AL SJR 82 Establishing A Constitutional Revision Commission Joint Resolution Passed - Senate (17 - 9)
April 20, 2011 AZ HB 2230 Relating to the 9/11 Memorial Concurrence Vote Passed - House (39 - 20)
April 19, 2011 AZ HB 2230 Relating to the 9/11 Memorial Bill Passed - Senate (21 - 9)
April 15, 2011 FL HJR 7111 Amends the Division of the Florida Supreme Court Amendment Adopted - House (79 - 38)
April 14, 2011 TN SB 16 Voter Identification Requirements Bill Passed - House (57 - 35)
April 13, 2011 MT HB 574 Clarifying Montana Constitution with Regards to Abortion Amendment Rejected - Senate (30 - 20)
April 11, 2011 GA HB 92 Limits Absentee Ballots Bill Passed - Senate (34 - 20)
April 7, 2011 NC HB 61 Term Limits for Speaker of the House and President Pro Tempore of the Senate Amendment Adopted - House (72 - 46)
April 5, 2011 AL HB 60 Prohibiting Mandatory Participation in any Health Care System Amendment Adopted - House (67 - 28)
March 30, 2011 NH SB 129 Requiring Photo Identification to Vote Bill Passed - Senate (18 - 6)
March 30, 2011 NH CACR 6 Requires a Supermajority for Budget Increases Resolution Passed - House (256 - 117)
March 24, 2011 TX SB 14 Voter Identification Requirements Bill Passed - House (101 - 48)
March 24, 2011 AL HB 60 Prohibiting Mandatory Participation in any Health Care System Amendment Rejected - House (59 - 28)
March 22, 2011 AL HB 19 Requires Photo Identification to Vote Bill Passed - House (64 - 31)
March 22, 2011 MT HB 574 Clarifying Montana Constitution with Regards to Abortion Amendment Adopted - House (66 - 31)
March 21, 2011 AR HB 1797 Requires Proof of Identity to Vote Bill Passed - House (53 - 36)
March 14, 2011 NY S 3331 Non-Partisan Redistricting Commission Bill Passed - Senate (35 - 24)
March 9, 2011 MD Amendment 223923 Civil Marriage Protection Act Amendment Rejected - House (63 - 72)
March 9, 2011 TN SJR 18 Constitutional Amendment Prohibiting an Income Tax Amendment Adopted - Senate (28 - 5)
March 9, 2011 FL SJR 2 Authorizes Exemptions from the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act Amendment Adopted - Senate (29 - 10)
March 4, 2011 PA HB 934 Amends Voter Identification Laws
March 2, 2011 National S Amdt 115 Calling for a Balanced Budget Constitutional Amendment Amendment Rejected - Senate (58 - 40)
March 1, 2011 WY HB 204 Patriotism in the Classroom Bill Failed - Senate (14 - 16)
Feb. 25, 2011 KS HB 2067 Voter Photographic Identification Requirements Bill Passed - House (83 - 36)
Feb. 24, 2011 MO SJR 2 Constitutional Amendment Requiring Voter Photo Identification Bill Passed - Senate (26 - 7)
Feb. 24, 2011 MO SJR 2 Constitutional Amendment Requiring Voter Photo Identification Bill Passed - Senate (26 - 7)
Feb. 23, 2011 UT SJR 9 Supervision of Public Education Joint Resolution Passed - Senate (22 - 6)
Feb. 23, 2011 TX SJR 1 Urging Congress to Propose a Balanced Budget Amendment Joint Resolution Passed - Senate (24 - 7)
Feb. 22, 2011 CO HB 1003 Changes to Voter Identification Requirements Bill Passed - House (35 - 30)
Feb. 22, 2011 GA HB 92 Limits Absentee Ballots Bill Passed - House (148 - 20)
Feb. 17, 2011 National HR 514 Extension of Various USA PATRIOT Act Provisions Concurrence Vote Passed - House (279 - 143)
Feb. 17, 2011 IA HF 260 House Rule School Governance Bill Passed - House (65 - 30)
Feb. 17, 2011 MO SB 3 Requires Photo Identification to Vote Bill Passed - Senate (26 - 7)
Feb. 16, 2011 SC H 3507 Call For Constitutional Convention Resolution Passed - House (72 - 44)
Feb. 16, 2011 MT HB 206 Constitutional Amendment on Freedom to Choose Health Insurance Coverage Amendment Adopted - House (67 - 31)
Feb. 15, 2011 National HR 514 Extension of Various USA PATRIOT Act Provisions Bill Passed - Senate (86 - 12)
Feb. 15, 2011 AR SB 154 Cell Phones in School Zones Bill Passed - House (52 - 41)
Feb. 14, 2011 National HR 514 Extension of Various USA PATRIOT Act Provisions Bill Passed - House (275 - 144)
Feb. 11, 2011 KS HCR 5007 Prohibiting Mandated Health Insurance Bill Passed - House (91 - 27)
Feb. 10, 2011 SC H 3003 Voter ID Bill Passed - Senate (26 - 17)
Feb. 8, 2011 WY HB 204 Patriotism in the Classroom Bill Passed - House (52 - 5)
Feb. 8, 2011 National HR 514 Extension of Various USA PATRIOT Act Provisions Bill Failed - House (277 - 148)
Feb. 2, 2011 AR SB 154 Cell Phones in School Zones Bill Passed - Senate (18 - 12)
Feb. 1, 2011 IA HJR 6 Banning Same Sex Marriage Amendment Adopted - House (62 - 37)
Feb. 1, 2011 WY SJ 2 Health Care Decisions for Citizens Joint Resolution Passed - Senate (23 - 7)
Jan. 26, 2011 TX SB 14 Voter Identification Requirements Bill Passed - Senate (19 - 11)
Jan. 26, 2011 SC H 3003 Voter ID Bill Passed - House (74 - 45)
Jan. 24, 2011 VA SB 949 Allowing Absentee Voting For Any Reason Bill Passed - Senate (24 - 14)
Jan. 19, 2011 NY S 1892 Limiting State Spending Amendment Adopted - Senate (41 - 19)
Date No. Title Outcome
12/15 HR 1540 National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012 Conference Report Adopted - Senate (86 - 13)
12/14 HR 1540 National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012 Conference Report Adopted - House (283 - 136)
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 S J Res 24 Proposing a Balanced Budget Amendment to the U.S. Constitution (Udall Bill) Amendment Rejected - Senate (21 - 79)
12/01 S Amdt 1274 Authorizes Further Detention After Trial During Wartime Amendment Rejected - Senate (41 - 59)
12/01 S Amdt 1125 Limits New Detention Rules to Prisoners Captured Outside the U.S. Amendment Rejected - Senate (45 - 55)
12/01 S Amdt 1126 Prohibits Detention of U.S. Citizens Without Trial Amendment Rejected - Senate (45 - 55)
11/30 CACR 14 Constitutional Amendment Authorizing the Legislature to Set Standards for Public Education Amendment Rejected - House (114 - 264)
11/29 S Amdt 1107 Removes Provisions Requiring Military Custody of al-Qaeda Suspects Amendment Rejected - Senate (38 - 60)
11/18 H J Res 2 Proposing a Balanced Budget Amendment to the U.S. Constitution Joint Resolution Failed - House (261 - 165)
10/21 S Amdt 753 Prohibits the Use of Funds for Prosecution of Enemy Combatants in Civilian Courts Amendment Rejected - Senate (47 - 52)
9/13 SB 514 Constitutional Amendment to Define Marriage Concurrence Vote Passed - Senate (30 - 16)
9/12 SB 514 Constitutional Amendment to Define Marriage Bill Passed - House (75 - 42)
9/07 SB 129 Requiring Photo Identification to Vote Veto Override Failed - Senate (7 - 17)
8/02 S 365 Budget Control Act of 2011 Concurrence Vote Passed - Senate (74 - 26)
8/01 S 365 Budget Control Act of 2011 Bill Passed - House (269 - 161)
7/31 S 627 Increasing the Debt Ceiling (Reid Bill) Cloture Not Invoked - Senate (50 - 49)
7/29 S 627 Increasing the Debt Ceiling (Boehner Bill) Bill Tabled - Senate (59 - 41)
7/29 S 627 Increasing the Debt Ceiling (Boehner Bill) Bill Passed - House (218 - 210)
7/22 HR 2560 Cut, Cap and Balance Act of 2011 Bill Tabled - Senate (51 - 46)
7/19 HR 2560 Cut, Cap and Balance Act of 2011 Bill Passed - House (234 - 190)
6/30 S 400 Voter Identification Requirements Bill Passed - House (51 - 22)
6/23 HB 934 Amends Voter Identification Laws Bill Passed - House (108 - 88)
6/22 SJR 1 Constitutional Amendment Concerning Health Care Joint Resolution Passed - House (59 - 39)
6/15 SJR 1 Constitutional Amendment Concerning Health Care Joint Resolution Passed - Senate (24 - 9)
6/10 LD 1376 Repeal Same-Day Voter Registration Bill Passed - Senate (17 - 14)
6/09 HB 60 Prohibiting Mandatory Participation in any Health Care System Amendment Adopted - Senate (24 - 9)
6/09 LD 1376 Repeals Same-Day Voter Registration Bill Passed - House (72 - 65)
6/08 SB 116 Relating to Overseas Absentee Voting Bill Passed - Senate (20 - 13)
5/27 AB 552 DNA Samples for Felony Charges Bill Passed - House (31 - 11)
5/26 S 990 PATRIOT Act Extension Concurrence Vote Passed - House (250 - 153)
5/26 S 990 PATRIOT Act Extension Concurrence Vote Passed - Senate (72 - 23)
5/25 HB 359 Corporal Punishment in Public Schools Concurrence Vote Passed - House (80 - 64)
5/23 HB 359 Corporal Punishment in Public Schools Bill Passed - Senate (29 - 2)
5/23 S 1038 PATRIOT Act Extension Cloture Invoked - Senate (74 - 8)
5/21 SF 1308 Prohibiting Same-Sex Marriage Amendment Adopted - House (70 - 62)
5/20 SB 16 Voter Identification Requirements Concurrence Vote Passed - Senate (18 - 14)
5/18 SJR 221 Constitutional Amendment to Prohibit State Income Tax Amendment Adopted - Senate (26 - 4)
5/16 SB 14 Voter Identification Requirements Conference Report Adopted - House (98 - 46)
5/13 HB 359 Corporal Punishment in Public Schools Bill Passed - House (84 - 55)
5/12 S 400 Voter Identification Requirements Bill Passed - Senate (27 - 6)
5/11 H 3003 Voter ID Conference Report Adopted - Senate (26 - 16)
5/11 SB 129 Amends Voter Identification Requirements Conference Report Rejected - Senate (15 - 23)
5/11 SF 1308 Prohibiting Same-Sex Marriage Amendment Adopted - Senate (38 - 27)
5/09 SB 14 Voter Identification Requirements Conference Report Adopted - Senate (19 - 12)
5/04 HJR 1179 Prohibits Public Funding of Abortions Concurrence Vote Passed - House (79 - 34)
5/04 SJR 2 Authorizes Exemptions from the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act Amendment Adopted - House (80 - 37)
5/04 HJR 381 Homestead and Property Assessment Joint Resolution Passed - Senate (25 - 12)
4/28 HJR 1179 Prohibits Public Funding of Abortions Bill Passed - Senate (27 - 12)
4/27 HJR 1179 Prohibits Public Funding of Abortions Joint Resolution Passed - House (82 - 35)
4/26 H 3003 Voter ID Conference Report Adopted - House (71 - 36)
4/21 SJR 82 Establishing A Constitutional Revision Commission Joint Resolution Passed - Senate (17 - 9)
4/20 HB 2230 Relating to the 9/11 Memorial Concurrence Vote Passed - House (39 - 20)
4/19 HB 2230 Relating to the 9/11 Memorial Bill Passed - Senate (21 - 9)
4/15 HJR 7111 Amends the Division of the Florida Supreme Court Amendment Adopted - House (79 - 38)
4/14 SB 16 Voter Identification Requirements Bill Passed - House (57 - 35)
4/13 HB 574 Clarifying Montana Constitution with Regards to Abortion Amendment Rejected - Senate (30 - 20)
4/11 HB 92 Limits Absentee Ballots Bill Passed - Senate (34 - 20)
4/07 HB 61 Term Limits for Speaker of the House and President Pro Tempore of the Senate Amendment Adopted - House (72 - 46)
4/05 HB 60 Prohibiting Mandatory Participation in any Health Care System Amendment Adopted - House (67 - 28)
3/30 SB 129 Requiring Photo Identification to Vote Bill Passed - Senate (18 - 6)
3/30 CACR 6 Requires a Supermajority for Budget Increases Resolution Passed - House (256 - 117)
3/24 SB 14 Voter Identification Requirements Bill Passed - House (101 - 48)
3/24 HB 60 Prohibiting Mandatory Participation in any Health Care System Amendment Rejected - House (59 - 28)
3/22 HB 19 Requires Photo Identification to Vote Bill Passed - House (64 - 31)
3/22 HB 574 Clarifying Montana Constitution with Regards to Abortion Amendment Adopted - House (66 - 31)
3/21 HB 1797 Requires Proof of Identity to Vote Bill Passed - House (53 - 36)
3/14 S 3331 Non-Partisan Redistricting Commission Bill Passed - Senate (35 - 24)
3/09 Amendment 223923 Civil Marriage Protection Act Amendment Rejected - House (63 - 72)
3/09 SJR 18 Constitutional Amendment Prohibiting an Income Tax Amendment Adopted - Senate (28 - 5)
3/09 SJR 2 Authorizes Exemptions from the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act Amendment Adopted - Senate (29 - 10)
3/04 HB 934 Amends Voter Identification Laws
3/02 S Amdt 115 Calling for a Balanced Budget Constitutional Amendment Amendment Rejected - Senate (58 - 40)
3/01 HB 204 Patriotism in the Classroom Bill Failed - Senate (14 - 16)
2/25 HB 2067 Voter Photographic Identification Requirements Bill Passed - House (83 - 36)
2/24 SJR 2 Constitutional Amendment Requiring Voter Photo Identification Bill Passed - Senate (26 - 7)
2/24 SJR 2 Constitutional Amendment Requiring Voter Photo Identification Bill Passed - Senate (26 - 7)
2/23 SJR 9 Supervision of Public Education Joint Resolution Passed - Senate (22 - 6)
2/23 SJR 1 Urging Congress to Propose a Balanced Budget Amendment Joint Resolution Passed - Senate (24 - 7)
2/22 HB 1003 Changes to Voter Identification Requirements Bill Passed - House (35 - 30)
2/22 HB 92 Limits Absentee Ballots Bill Passed - House (148 - 20)
2/17 HR 514 Extension of Various USA PATRIOT Act Provisions Concurrence Vote Passed - House (279 - 143)
2/17 HF 260 House Rule School Governance Bill Passed - House (65 - 30)
2/17 SB 3 Requires Photo Identification to Vote Bill Passed - Senate (26 - 7)
2/16 H 3507 Call For Constitutional Convention Resolution Passed - House (72 - 44)
2/16 HB 206 Constitutional Amendment on Freedom to Choose Health Insurance Coverage Amendment Adopted - House (67 - 31)
2/15 HR 514 Extension of Various USA PATRIOT Act Provisions Bill Passed - Senate (86 - 12)
2/15 SB 154 Cell Phones in School Zones Bill Passed - House (52 - 41)
2/14 HR 514 Extension of Various USA PATRIOT Act Provisions Bill Passed - House (275 - 144)
2/11 HCR 5007 Prohibiting Mandated Health Insurance Bill Passed - House (91 - 27)
2/10 H 3003 Voter ID Bill Passed - Senate (26 - 17)
2/08 HB 204 Patriotism in the Classroom Bill Passed - House (52 - 5)
2/08 HR 514 Extension of Various USA PATRIOT Act Provisions Bill Failed - House (277 - 148)
2/02 SB 154 Cell Phones in School Zones Bill Passed - Senate (18 - 12)
2/01 HJR 6 Banning Same Sex Marriage Amendment Adopted - House (62 - 37)
2/01 SJ 2 Health Care Decisions for Citizens Joint Resolution Passed - Senate (23 - 7)
1/26 SB 14 Voter Identification Requirements Bill Passed - Senate (19 - 11)
1/26 H 3003 Voter ID Bill Passed - House (74 - 45)
1/24 SB 949 Allowing Absentee Voting For Any Reason Bill Passed - Senate (24 - 14)
1/19 S 1892 Limiting State Spending Amendment Adopted - Senate (41 - 19)

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