Phantom vote recorded on budget bill
Questions arose Thursday after the House voted 59-40 to approve House Bill 2301, the state budget bill. House Minority Leader Scott Inman, D-Del City, said the electronic voting system showed Rep. Terry O'Donnell, R-Tulsa, had voted for the budget even though he had left the Capitol an hour earlier. Inman said House Republicans told Democrats that two different House members pressed O'Donnell's green yes button on his desk. One vote was whether to adopt the text of HB 2301 and the other vote was on the bill's passage. Rep. Bobby Cleveland, O'Donnell's seatmate, said he didn't see who voted for O'Donnell, who couldn't be reached for comment. “I didn't even know he was gone,” said Cleveland, R-Slaughterville, saying O'Donnell often walks away from his desk on the floor. “I didn't vote for him.” Speaker T.W. Shannon, R-Lawton, is looking into the matter, said his spokesman, Joe Griffin. Democrats pressed Speaker Pro Tem Mike Jackson, R-Enid, at least to admonish members about the voting rules. In 2008 House members were reminded that the rules require them to be in the chamber when telling others to vote for them after a House Democrat's vote was recorded while he was in his office. Members vote on bills by pushing buttons on their desks in the chamber. If they're away from their desks, they can signal to the presiding officer, usually the speaker pro tem, how they wish to vote or to another member to push their button for them.