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

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.” 

Lawmakers miss votes for a whole host of reasons, including personal matters, 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. 

This scorecard is based on a review of a grouping of floor votes taken in the Minnesota Legislature from January 5, 2021 to July 1, 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. We expect all lawmakers to know their own voting records ahead of this publication. 

Key Insights

Minnesota Senate 

The average Minnesota senator missed 1 percent of a grouping of 136 floor votes, with Republican senators on average missing 1 percent of all floor votes and Democrat senators on average missing 2 percent of all floor votes. Sen. Matt Klein (SD-52) missed the most votes – 20 out of 136 – for a score of 15 percent missed votes. By not missing a single vote, the following senators received a perfect attendance score:  

  • Bruce Anderson (SD-29)
  • James Carlson (SD-51)
  • Roger Chamberlain (SD-38)
  • Steve Cwodzinski (SD-48)
  • Gary Dahms (SD-16)
  • Gene Dornink (SD-27)
  • Rich Draheim (SD-20)
  • Kent Eken (SD-4)
  • Nick Frentz (SD-19)
  • Paul Gazelka (SD-9)
  • John Hoffman (SD-36)
  • Jeff Howe (SD-13)
  • Bill Ingebrigtsen (SD-8)
  • Jason Isaacson (SD-42)
  • John Jasinski (SD-24)
  • Mark Johnson (SD-1)
  • Susan Kent (SD-53)
  • Mark Koran (SD-32)
  • Warren Limmer (SD-34)
  • John Marty (SD-66)
  • Andrew Mathews (SD-15)
  • Jen McEwen (SD-7)
  • Jeremy Miller (SD-28)
  • Lindsey Port (SD-56)
  • Aric Putnam (SD-14)
  • Jason Rarick (SD-11)
  • David Senjem (SD-25)
  • David Tomassoni (SD-6)
  • Paul Utke (SD-2)
  • Bill Weber (SD-22)
  • Charles Wiger (SD-43)
  • Melissa Wiklund (SD-50)

Minnesota House of Representatives

The average Minnesota House member missed 2 percent of 351 total floor votes, with Republican members on average missing 3 percent of all floor votes and Democrat members on average missing 1 percent of all floor votes. Rep. Joe McDonald (HD-29A) missed the most votes –59 out of 351– for a score of 17 percent missed votes. By not missing a single vote, the following House members received a perfect attendance score:  

  • Patty Acomb (HD-44B)
  • Esther Agbaje (HD-59B)
  • Cal Bahr (HD-31B)
  • Connie Bernardy (HD-41A)
  • Robert Bierman (HD-57A)
  • Liz Boldon (HD-25B)
  • John Burkel (HD-1A)
  • Andrew Carlson (HD-50B)
  • Jim Davnie (HD-63A)
  • Bob Dettmer (HD-39A)
  • Steve Elkins (HD-49B)
  • Sandra Feist (HD-41B)
  • Peter Fischer (HD-43A)
  • Luke Frederick (HD-19B)
  • Mike Freiberg (HD-45B)
  • Emma Greenman (HD-63B)
  • Frank Hornstein (HD-61A)
  • Michael Howard (HD-50A)
  • Sydney Jordan (HD-60A)
  • Ginny Klevorn (HD-44A)
  • Erin Koegel (HD-37A)
  • Tina Liebling (HD-26A)
  • Leon Lillie (HD-43B)
  • Todd Lippert (HD-20B)
  • Jamie Long (HD-61B)
  • Kelly Morrison (HD-33B)
  • Mike Nelson (HD-40A)
  • Bjorn Olson (HD-23A)
  • Brian Pfarr (HD-20A)
  • Dave Pinto (HD-64B)
  • Laurie Pryor (HD-48A)
  • Jordan Rasmusson (HD-8A)
  • Liz Reyer (HD-51B)
  • Steve Sandell (HD-53B)
  • Ryan Winkler (HD-46A)
  • Cheryl Youakim (HD-46B)

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

John Heinrich (HD-35A)

“My Father David Heinrich unexpectedly passed away June 24th, 2021. As a result, I was absent for multiple votes in that very busy time period. Omnibus bills and multiple amendments were voted on during these vote heavy house floor sessions. This could easily account for 40 votes.”

Marion O’Neill (HD-29B)

“I apologize for the late reply. I had really struggled with how exactly to explain my absence as it is highly personal. I am a survivor of rape and workplace sexual harassment. I missed nearly all those votes from one day of floor session. On April 23rd we had a required sexual harassment training for work. Because we were remote, we were not allowed to step away or miss any part of it. I became very triggered, felt trapped, which caused me to spiral out of control. This was on a Friday and on the following Monday I was not any better. I was an emotional wreck and was instructed by my leadership to take the day off. That Monday, April 26th we had a long floor session with many votes. Now I am not certain that this accounts for all of the 37 missed votes, but it is nearly all. If you need further information, please let me know. This is the first time in 10 years of service that anyone has asked about why is missed a vote, which are normally incredibly rare for me. We are often asked about a specific vote and why we voted yes or no. We in Minnesota don’t keep personal records of missed votes in the way you asked.

Hope this help. We are all human and despite the horrors I’ve lived through, I have championed many law changes regarding sexual assault, child marriage and revenge porn. But, I sometimes need a break.”

*Given the nature of Representative O’Neill’s above explanation, the Foundation reached out to Representative O’Neill to confirm that she wanted to publish her full statement, and she confirmed that she wanted her full statement published. 

As stated previously herein, lawmakers miss votes for a host of reasons, including personal matters, medical issues, family concerns, or other issues. The Club for Growth Foundation doesn’t analyze why a lawmaker missed a vote and is simply publishing this quantified information for educational purposes only. 

Kristin Robbins (HD-34A)

Well perhaps it is a mistake, because I never did miss a vote. I voted remotely one day for a special session in June and perhaps the remote voting system didn’t record it properly – it was a Special Session Saturday and I was out of town helping my daughter move.  That was the only day since 2019 I wasn’t physically on the floor. I missed one day in 2019 for my daughter’s college graduation.  I absolutely did not miss any votes. 

This is incredibly frustrating to me as I am one of the only members who is ALWAYS on the House floor and I actually have voted for my colleagues who couldn’t be there for various reasons, some of whom are on your “perfect attendance” list.  During the last two years many, if not most Members have voted remotely far more often than they have been on the floor in person.

As you will see from the linked article, I was the ONLY member who attended every session in the regular session 2021 in person (we had monthly special sessions, as well and I was physically present for all but one of those).  I missed one day of being on the floor for the 6/19 Special Session.  I have not missed a single day in 2022.  I did not miss any votes. 

“Robbins was the only member to be in the House chamber for every roll call vote in this year’s regular session. In an interview, the second-term lawmaker said she’s taken per diem in past sessions but decided not to after the pandemic forced businesses across the state to close.” 

I’m sure I can’t get you to change your mind, but I want you to understand how misleading this is.  I am the ONLY one who has been there every day and some of those on your “perfect” attendance list were rarely there in person.  It is incredibly misleading and frustrating.

*Rep. Robbins is referring to the one missed we found from the MN House Journal

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