May 21, 2008

Texas House wants end to 'ghost voting'

Texas House wants end to 'ghost voting'
CBS 42 Reporter: Nanci Wilson
Last Update: 5/21 6:41 pm

Ghost Voting May End
Legislature To Look At Its Voting Practices

Related Links
CBS 42 Investigates
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The CBS 42 Investigates report has been viewed on the Web over one-million times. When CBS 42 documented News documented Texas legislators 'ghost voting' -- lawmakers voting in place of one another -- they started looking at ways to curb the practice.

On Wednesday morning, a House committee will hold a hearing to explore solutions. These reforms could curb lawmakers' ability to push the buttons for other members.

Here's what investigative reporter Nanci Wilson caught on tape in the last legislative session. Legislators voting several times on bills. They voted for other members behind them, across the aisles and across party lines.

"There has been many times people have been voted when they were not in Austin, not in the State Capitol and not even in the united states of America," Chairman of the House Administration Committee Tony Goolsby said.

Such voting is fairly common, but according to the official House rules it isn't supposed to happen. After lawmakers saw the story, the Speaker of the House ordered a committee to study the issue and make recommendations on alternative ways for lawmakers to cast their votes.

One idea is to use biometrics, which means a fingerprint is needed to cast a vote. That may also mean that lawmakers may not have to be at their desks, but they will need to be inside the Capitol.

Copyright 2008, Four Points Media Group LLC. All Rights Reserved.

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