View Full Version : Legality of voting in lieu of a politician
07-19-2006, 10:20 AM
In the Bush, you're not at a frat party, you dick (http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=380227) thread, a poster recounted the following interesting anecdote:A friend of mine (English) regaled me with stories of the Bush administration when he was governor. Including George and much of the senate repairing to the local titty bar. And including him (my friend, not a citizen let alone elected) going back and casting ballots on the senate floor when everyone else was to drunk to make it back. Just something of the milieu he came out of.Assuming this story is true, was any crime committed here, possibly apart from trespassing? That is, is it illegal in Texas (or anywhere else, for that matter) to walk into a state/provincial/federal legislature, sit down as if you are an elected politician, and conduct parliamentary business such as proposing, commenting on, and voting on motions? If so, what specific crime is being committed? If not, what is the status of laws and such that were passed or rejected while the spurious politicians were sitting, particularly if they were passed or rejected by a margin less than or equal to the number of spurious politicians?
Bosda Di'Chi of Tricor
07-19-2006, 11:11 AM
I believe the story to be untrue, as someone would clearly have noticed.
Obviously, there would be building security, if only to keep people from stealing the chairs. :rolleyes:
Yeah, but we're talking about Texas here, where lobbyists used to walk out on the House floor and pass out $10,000 checks like baseball cards. No doubt it's illegal for someone other than the duly-elected representative to cast a vote on a piece of legislation, but Texas probably just calls it "cutting out the middle man."
07-19-2006, 03:01 PM
In the Minnesota Legislature, the House has antique 2-person desks. Since legislators are often elsewhere, in committee meetings or similar, at the time voting is happening on the floor, it used to be common practice for members to reach over and press the voting buttons for their absent seat-mate. It was considered a point of honor to vote the way you knew your seat-mate would have voted, even if it opposed your position.
I believe this was technically against the House Rules. Also, it is no longer done (or at least, much less frequently).
vBulletin® v3.7.3, Copyright ©2000-2013, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.