[Deschler-Brown Precedents, Volume 14]
[Chapter 30. Voting]
[C. Yeas and Nays and Other Votes of Record]
[§ 38. Correction of Incorrectly Recorded Votes After Announcement of Result]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office, www.gpo.gov]


[Page 11709-11713]
 
                               CHAPTER 30
 
                                 Voting
 
               C. YEAS AND NAYS AND OTHER VOTES OF RECORD
 
Sec. 38. Correction of Incorrectly Recorded Votes After Announcement of 
    Result

Permissibility

Sec. 38.1 The Chair does not pass upon the explanation a Member sets 
    forth as to how he was improperly recorded or how, though present 
    and having voted, he was not recorded. The Chair impugns the motive 
    of no Member. The Chair observed that while it is not permissible 
    to change a vote [after the announcement of the result] it is 
    permissible for a Member to correct the Record.

    On May 28, 1959,(5) the House granted a unanimous-
consent request that the permanent edition of the Record be corrected 
to show that Mr. James G. Fulton, of Pennsylvania, was present on a 
roll call vote taken the previous day and had voted ``aye.'' 
(6)
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 5. Cong. Rec. (daily ed.), 86th Cong. 1st Sess.
 6. See 105 Cong. Rec. 9184, 86th Cong. 1st Sess., May 27, 1959.
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    Mr. James G. Fulton, of Pennsylvania, rose to address the Chair as 
follows:

        Mr. Speaker, on rollcall No. 59 I am recorded as not voting. I 
    was present

[[Page 11710]]

    and voted ``aye.'' I ask unanimous consent that the Record and 
    Journal be corrected accordingly.(7)
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 7. Mr. Fulton's statement will not be found in the permanent edition 
        since his unanimous-consent request was granted.
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    Roll Call No. 59 was a yea and nay vote on the passage of a bill 
(H.R. 7086) to extend the Renegotiation Act of 1951.(8) 
Following Mr. Fulton's request, the Speaker Pro Tempore (9) 
asked if there was any objection, and none being heard, the request was 
granted.(10) Accordingly, the permanent Record was so 
corrected.(11)
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 8. 105 Cong. Rec. 9184, 86th Cong. 1st Sess., May 27, 1959.
 9. John W. McCormack (Mass.).
10. Cong. Rec. (daily ed.), 86th Cong. 1st Sess.
11. 105 Cong. Rec. 9184, 86th Cong. 1st Sess., May 27, 1959.
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    Shortly thereafter, the following exchange took place between Mr. 
Clare E. Hoffman, of Michigan, and the Speaker Pro Tempore: 
(12)
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12. 105 Cong. Rec. 9335, 86th Cong. 1st Sess., May 28, 1959.
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        Mr. Hoffman of Michigan: Mr. Speaker, a parliamentary inquiry.
        The Speaker Pro Tempore: (13) The gentleman will 
    state it.
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13. John W. McCormack (Mass.).
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        Mr. Hoffman of Michigan: I did not hear how the gentleman 
    stated he had voted. It is permissible to change a vote, on a 
    rollcall, a yea-and-nay vote? May a Member change from one to the 
    other the next day?
        The Speaker Pro Tempore: Of course it is not permissible to 
    change a vote, but it is permissible for a Member to correct the 
    Record.
        Mr. Hoffman of Michigan: On the theory that the Clerk has 
    recorded it unaccurately?
        The Speaker Pro Tempore: The Chair does not pass upon what 
    theory the gentleman says he was not recorded when he was present 
    and voted. The Chair impugns the motive of no Member.

    Parliamentarian's Note: On electronically recorded votes, the Chair 
will not entertain a unanimous-consent request to have the permanent 
Record corrected. See Sec. 32.2, supra.

Responsibility of Member To Be Present

Sec. 38.2 Where a Member who has been incorrectly recorded nevertheless 
    leaves the Chamber after voting, and is not present to correct his 
    vote at the time of a recapitulation, he undertakes sole 
    responsibility for such action.

    On Aug. 7, 1941,(14) the Clerk was directed to read a 
message from the President in which he explained his veto of a bill (S. 
1580) to supplement the Federal Aid Road Act, approved July 11,

[[Page 11711]]

1916, as amended and supplemented, to authorize appropriations during 
the national emergency declared by the President on May 27, 1941, for 
the immediate construction of roads urgently needed for the national 
defense.
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14. 87 Cong. Rec. 6886, 6895, 6896, 77th Cong. 1st Sess.
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    Following debate on whether or not to override the President's 
veto, the Speaker (15) put the question; and, pursuant to 
constitutional mandate,(16) it was taken by the yeas and 
nays. The vote being close in the Chair's estimation, a recapitulation 
was undertaken.
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15. Sam Rayburn (Tex.).
16. U.S. Const. art. I, Sec. 7, clause 2.
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        Mr. [Leo E.] Allen of Illinois: Mr. Speaker, a parliamentary 
    inquiry.
        The Speaker: The gentleman will state it.
        Mr. Allen of Illinois: How could you have a correct analysis of 
    the vote if a Member were out of the Chamber now who had voted 
    ``nay'' and he is recorded as voting ``yea'' and he is not here to 
    correct it?
        The Speaker: That is not the business of anybody in the House 
    except the particular Member involved.

Sec. 38.3 A Member, temporarily unable to use his voice because of an 
    operation on his throat, submitted a roll call correction in 
    writing, without making the request in the well, pursuant to 
    arrangements with the Speaker; the Record carried the correction as 
    a unanimous-consent request.

    On May 21, 1968,(17) Mr. Glenn Cunningham, of Nebraska, 
sought a correction in the permanent Record of a roll call vote as to 
which he was improperly recorded as absent. Mr. Cunningham, however, 
was temporarily unable to use his voice because of an operation on his 
throat. By prior arrangement with the Speaker and because of the 
unusual circumstances, Mr. Cunningham was permitted to submit the 
desired correction in writing in lieu of making a unanimous-consent 
request from the well.
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17. Cong. Rec. (daily ed.), 90th Cong. 2d Sess.
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    The Record (18) carried the correction as a unanimous-
consent request as the following excerpt indicates:
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18. Id.
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        Mr. Cunningham: Mr. Speaker, on rollcall No. 140, on May 15, a 
    quorum call, I am recorded as absent. I was present and answered to 
    my name.
        I ask unanimous consent that the permanent Record and Journal 
    be corrected accordingly.
        The Speaker: (19) Is there objection to the request 
    of the gentleman from Nebraska?
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19. John W. McCormack (Mass.).
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        There was no objection.

[[Page 11712]]

    The permanent Record (20) was then revised accordingly.
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20. See 114 Cong. Rec. 13454, 90th Cong. 2d Sess., May 15, 1968.
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Sec. 38.4 The Government Printing Office having erroneously printed on 
    a roll call the name of a deceased Member of the House, the 
    permanent Record was corrected, by unanimous consent, to delete the 
    name.

    On June 26, 1969,(1) Mr. H. R. Gross, of Iowa, initiated 
the following exchange with the Speaker:
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 1. Cong. Rec. (daily ed.), 91st Cong. 1st Sess.
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        Mr. Gross: Mr. Speaker, on rollcall 91 there is a printing 
    error. The Government Printing Office has unfortunately listed the 
    name of our late colleague, the gentleman from Massachusetts, Mr. 
    Bates, among those Members responding on the rollcall.
        I therefore ask unanimous consent that the permanent Record be 
    corrected to delete his name.
        Agreement to this request would in no way change the result of 
    the vote as announced.
        The Speaker: (2) Is there objection to the request 
    of the gentleman from Iowa?
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 2. John W. McCormack (Mass.).
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        There was no objection.

    The roll call vote to which Mr. Gross referred (roll call No. 91), 
was on the passage of a resolution (H. Res. 357) to increase the number 
of clerks and the clerk-hire allowance for each Member. The vote had 
been taken the day before [June 25, 1969] (3) and the error 
was eventually traced to the Government Printing Office.(4) 
The permanent Record was corrected accordingly.(5)
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 3. Cong. Rec. 17290, 91st Cong. 1st Sess.
 4. See 115 Cong. Rec. 17643, 17644, 91st Cong. 1st Sess., June 27, 
        1969, for an explanation as to how the error originated.
 5. See 115 Cong. Rec. 17290, 91st Cong. 1st Sess., June 25, 1969.
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Correcting Administrative Errors

Sec. 38.5 Where tally clerks have found an error in a previously 
    announced roll call count on the passage of a bill, the Speaker has 
    announced the corrected yea and nay vote later in the day.

    On Oct. 22, 1941,(6) the House voted on the passage of a 
bill (H.R. 146) to provide for trials of and judgments upon the issue 
of good behavior in the case of certain federal judges. A division 
having been demanded on the question, there were--ayes 62, noes 40. Mr. 
Clarence E. Hancock,

[[Page 11713]]

of New York, then objected to the vote on the ground that a quorum was 
not present. The Speaker (7) sustained the point of order 
and directed the Clerk to call the roll. Following the roll call, the 
Chair announced that there were-yeas 124, nays 123; (8) so 
the bill was passed.
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 6. 87 Cong. Rec. 8168, 77th Cong. 1st Sess.
 7. Sam Rayburn (Tex.).
 8. Cong. Rec. (daily ed.), 77th Cong. 1st Sess.
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    Shortly thereafter, the Speaker made the following statement: 
(9)
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 9. 87 Cong. Rec. 8169, 77th Cong. 1st Sess.
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        The Chair announces the corrected vote on the bill (H.R. 146) 
    to provide for trials of and judgments upon the issue of good 
    behavior in the case of certain Federal judges. After the tally 
    clerks have rechecked the responses, the vote stands: Yeas, 124; 
    nays, 121.
        The bill is passed.

Sec. 38.6 The Speaker has requested and received unanimous consent to 
    correct the Journal and the Record where a copy of a roll call vote 
    sent to the Printing Office was found to be incorrect.

    On Feb. 12, 1942,(10) the Speaker (11) made 
the following statement in reference to a roll call vote on a bill 
(H.R. 6483) authorizing a $50 million appropriation to relieve an acute 
shortage of housing, public works, and equipment therefor in the 
District of Columbia area:
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10. Cong. Rec. (daily ed.), 77th Cong. 2d Sess.
11. Sam Rayburn (Tex.).
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        It seems that in connection with roll call 22 yesterday, the 
    copy of the roll call that went to the Printing Office did not 
    contain the names of Mr. Allen of Illinois, Mr. Allen of Louisiana, 
    Mr. H. Carl Andersen, Mr. Anderson of California, Mr. Anderson of 
    New Mexico, Mr. Cooley, or Mr. Collins.
        Without objection, the Journal and permanent Record will be 
    corrected to record these gentlemen as having been present and 
    voting ``yea.''
        There was no objection.