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Club For Growth Foundation Releases Kansas Missed Votes Scorecard

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Club for Growth Foundation today released its Missed Votes Kansas scorecard for the Legislature’s 2021 regular session. The newly launched Missed Votes Scorecards calculate how often lawmakers show up to vote and how often they miss votes.

Lawmakers miss votes for a whole host of reasons, including medical issues, family concerns, prior commitments, purely political motivations, or other reasons. The Club for Growth Foundation generally doesn’t analyze why a lawmaker has missed a vote and is simply publishing this quantified information for educational purposes only.

According to Club for Growth Foundation President David McIntosh, “Constituents need to know the missed votes records of their representatives so they can decide for themselves if elected officials are avoiding a difficult vote or have a legitimate reason for missing a particular vote. Sadly, this information is often not available, and that is why the Club for Growth Foundation is publishing Missed Votes scorecards.”

This scorecard is based on a review of all floor votes taken in the Kansas Legislature from January 14, 2021 to May 26, 2021. There are inherent limitations in judging the overall qualifications of any legislator based on how many votes he or she has missed, and the Club for Growth Foundation does not endorse or oppose any legislator for public office.

 

Key Insights

 

Kansas Senate

The average Kansas senator missed 6 percent of 304 total floor votes, with Republican senators on average missing 7 percent of all floor votes and Democrat senators on average missing 4 percent of all floor votes. Sen. Bud Estes (SD-38) missed the most votes – 304 votes out of 304 – for a score of 100% missed votes. Estes passed away on Feb. 13 due to a prolonged illness. By not missing a single vote, the following senators received a perfect attendance score:

  • Michael Fagg (SD-14)
  • Dan Kerschen (SD-26)

 

Kansas House of Representatives

The average Kansas House member missed 2 percent of 322 total floor votes, with Republican members on average missing 2 percent of all floor votes and Democrat members on average missing 2 percent of all floor votes. Rep. Ron Howard (HD-98) missed the most votes – 284 out of 322 – for a score of 88% missed votes. However, Rep. Howard passed away in 7/2020 from a lengthy illness that excused him from the majority of the session. By not missing a single vote, the following house members received a perfect attendance score:

  • Mike Amyx (HD-45)
  • Avery Anderson (HD-72)
  • Brian Bergkamp (HD-93)
  • Emil Bergquist (HD-91)
  • Jesse Borjon (HD-52)
  • Tom Burroughs (HD-33)
  • Stephanie Byers (HD-86)
  • Blake Carpenter (HD-81)
  • Will Carpenter (HD-75)
  • Stephanie Clayton (HD-19)
  • Aaron Coleman (HD-37)
  • Kenneth Collins (HD-2)
  • Susan Concannon (HD-107)
  • Pam Curtis (HD-32)
  • Jennifer Day (HD-48)
  • Leo Delperdang (HD-94)
  • Mike Dodson (HD-67)
  • John Eplee (HD-63)
  • Charlotte Esau (HD-14)
  • Brett Fairchild (HD-113)
  • Linda Featherson (HD-16)
  • Blaine Finch (HD-59)
  • Dennis Highberger (HD-46)
  • Ron Highland (HD-51)
  • Steven Howe (HD-71)
  • Jo Ella Hoye (HD-17)
  • Timothy Johnson (HD-38)
  • Jim Kelly (HD-11)
  • Annie Kuether (HD-55)
  • Martin Long (HD-124)
  • Jim Minnix (HD-118)
  • Lisa Moser (HD-106)
  • Michael Murphy (HD-114)
  • Lance Neelly (HD-42)
  • Stephen Owens (HD-74)
  • Patrick Proctor (HD-41)
  • Richard Proehl (HD-7)
  • Susan Ruiz (HD-23)
  • Clarke Sanders (HD-69)
  • Jerry Stogsdill (HD-21)
  • Adam Thomas (HD-26)
  • Carl Turner (HD-28)
  • Paul Waggoner (HD-104)
  • Troy Waymaster (HD-109)
  • John Wheeler (HD-123)

 

We asked lawmakers who missed at least 10% of the votes if they’d like us to include an explanation. Here is the one response we received:

Rep. Mark Samsel (HD-5): Thank you for your interest. Without going back to examine each one, I suspect most of the votes were missed intentionally by me because leadership decided to force votes between the hours of midnight and 7 AM when the general public is largely asleep. Dozens or hundreds of pages of legislation that no one has read.

I told leadership I would not support any such measures unless they waited to resume at 8 AM the following day. I did exactly that. Rather than staying up all hours of the night this session as we did the past two years, I left. The effect of my votes were the same: no, absent, missed, present, etc.

Our citizens deserve a better process where they can observe what is going on during broad daylight. Other missed votes were uncontroversial bills where I planned my absence in advance with leadership to conduct legislative or other work in the district.


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