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Procedures Voting At A Glance

Procedures Voting At A Glance

Among all of the legislative procedures that occur in the Senate, arguably the most important one is voting. Senate voting is considered highly important to party leaders, for they often schedule voting at a time when Senate approval is most likely to meet their agenda goals. Senate voting takes place on an average of 95% of the time when the chamber is in session.

There three different types of Senate voting that are implemented: Voice Vote, Division Vote, and Roll-call or Recorded Votes. Voice and division votes are not provided for in the Senate rules and regulations but are implemented due to precedent. The only voting procedure committed to text are roll-call votes, and are identified in terms of the “yeas and nays.”

A voice vote is a fairly simple procedure undertaken by the Senate. Senate voting in this fashion is conducted by the presiding officer. The presiding officer will simply ask the remaining members of the Senate to say “aye” if they are in favor of the proposed resolution or matter on the floor or to say “no” if they are opposed.

Once the votes are tabulated, the chair will announce the results. The results are not official until the chair officially declares the decision of the Senate voting. Senators may often request that one of the other forms of Senate voting be implemented if they believe it might reverse the decision in their favor.

However, such a request must be made before the final result is made by the presiding officer. The presiding officer will say “Without objection, the motion, resolution, etc. are agreed (or not agreed) to.” If an objection is made by a Senator on the floor, it may result in other votes taken by one of the other methods.

A division vote is rarely used in Senate voting procedures. Also referred to as a standing vote, a division vote simply denotes whether a particular proposition is approved or disapproved. There is no record that provides for how each Senator in the chamber voted on a certain proposition. Similarly to a voice vote, Senators may also request that another method of Senate voting be undertaken, as long as the final announcement of the results is made by the presiding officer.

Both voice and division Senate voting institute a majority quorum for a resolution to be passed. Typically, this requires that a total number of fifty-one of the one hundred Senators vote either in favor or against a certain resolution. However, the majority of quorum may differ in there are vacancies in the Senate.

Roll-call votes, or the “yeas and nays,” are the only form of Senate voting that is prescribed by the United States Constitution, and can be found under Article 1DebateHouse of Representatives