Common Cause Calls On Legislature To End Ghost Voting

Media Contact:

September 24, 2013

Phillip Ung (916) 520-4070

Common Cause Calls on Legislature to End Ghost Voting

Sacramento, CA -The issue of legislative “ghost voting” has resurfaced in California’s Capitol after CBS affiliate KPIX aired an investigative story showing legislators abusing this supposedly banned practice. View the full story here:

The KPIX story showed several legislators participating in “ghost voting”: an occurrence when legislators are absent from their desk however their votes are cast because their colleagues press the vote button in their absence.

“We are calling on the Assembly to end this practice, no exceptions. Let legislators vote on behalf of their own constituents,” said Kathay Feng, executive director for California Common Cause. “Legislators were sent to Sacramento to vote for their district, not to let some other legislator vote on their behalf.”

In 2008, legislative leaders promised to end the practice of ghost voting. That promise appears to be broken based on video evidence aired on Monday night. Common Cause will urge the Assembly to adopt new, stricter rules and practices to prevent ghost voting and restore trust back into the institution.

“What kind of example does the Assembly set when they expect voters to follow the laws approved each year and at the same time blatantly violate their own internal rules,” said Phillip Ung, spokesperson for California Common Cause. “This reeks of hypocrisy, broken promises, and leaves voters with questions about what really goes on in the State Capitol.”

The Assembly can adopt amendments to their Standing Rules when it returns in January.

California Common Cause is a non-partisan, non-profit that strives to strengthen our democracy by empowering our members, supporters and the general public to take action on critical policy issues.