Six Weeks to Election: Granite State Progress Launches State House Report Card of 200+ Roll Call Votes
Website allows constituents, voters to see for themselves the issue positions, statements and videos of State House legislators and candidates
CONCORD, NH – Six weeks before the general election, Granite State Progress is making publicly available a State House Report Card of more than 200 roll call votes from the past session, categorized by issue and legislator.
The website can be viewed at http://www.granitestateprogress.org/service/legislator-report-cards.
“It’s hard to know whether your legislator did what you thought they would when you elected them,” said Zandra Rice Hawkins, Granite State Progress Executive Director. “Granite State Progress selected more than 200 roll call votes on a wide variety of issues to help constituents understand the voting record of their individual legislators, many of whom are running for re-election. We’ve also included details about the representatives’ affiliations and relevant press releases, news clips or videos that point to their overall character.”
While many organizations issue report cards based on issue priorities, the Granite State Progress site will allow people to choose for themselves the issues that are most important to them. Each piece of legislation includes a link to the General Court’s website for more information.
“Our goal is to provide comprehensive information about who voted which way, so that someone who is concerned about education policy can find out just as much information as someone who is focused on budget and revenue issues,” Rice Hawkins said. “We’ve removed the confusing legislative jargon around these bills and instead explained, in a straight-forward way, what they really mean for Granite State families and small businesses.”
Examples of the roll call vote descriptions include:
- Rep. Will Smith voted against funding for domestic violence programs in the State of New Hampshire. (HB1, Roll Call #151, 3/31/2011)
- Rep. Will Smith voted against funding for alcohol and drug abuse prevention intervention and treatment. (HB1, Roll Call #157, 3/31/2011)
- Rep. Will Smith voted for repealing major sections of the anti-bullying law and leaving our children vulnerable to bullying on-line and off school grounds. (HB370, Roll Call #69, 3/15/2011)
- Rep. Will Smith voted against banning BPA in baby food products. (HB1182, Roll Call #126, 3/8/2012)
- Rep. Will Smith voted for reducing the lifetime limit for needy families receiving cash assistance from 5 years to 3 years. (HB263, Roll Call #38, 1/11/2012)
- Rep. Will Smith voted for urging Congress to privatize all aspects of Social Security. Privatizing social security puts at risk benefits for New Hampshire’s current and future retirees. *ALEC Model Legislation* (HCR39, Roll Call #190, 3/21/2012)
- Rep. Will Smith voted for lowering the age at which teenagers can drop out of school. (HB429, Roll Call #71, 3/15/2011)
- Rep. Will Smith voted for eliminating open primaries, which are a key part of the first in the nation primary. An open primary allows undeclared voters to participate in either the Republican or Democratic Primary as they see fit. (HB1595, Roll Call #139, 3/8/2012)
- Rep. Will Smith voted for prohibiting New Hampshire from participating in any program that establishes fuel standards as part of lowering carbon emissions. (HB1487, Roll Call #114, 3/7/2012)
“With many of these legislators running for re-election, it’s important for their constituents to know how they spent their time in Concord the past two years,” Rice Hawkins said. “This website finally makes available the same type of resources and attention that top of the ticket races have enjoyed for years.”
The State House Report Card currently contains the voting records of State Representatives from 2011-2012. While Granite State Progress does not endorse candidates for office, in 2008 and 2010 it issued a progressive voter guide compiling the endorsements of several other key New Hampshire advocacy or membership groups. The endorsement listings for this year’s election will be added to the website in mid-October, along with relevant information about key candidates for the House and the full slate of Senate candidates.
Members of the community can also download template postcards and palm cards to share with friends and neighbors concerning the state house votes and how individual legislators voted.
The website was built by Hoeferweb, a virtual Internet Marketing and Strategy Agency based in Keene, New Hampshire and online at www.hoeferweb.com.