This year for the first time Virginia citizens can actually easily track how their representatives in the House of Delegates voted on every bill.
Want to find out how the three delegates representing McLean voted on bills requiring women who want an abortion to have an ultrasound, allowing unlimited handgun purchases, giving counties the right to decide when to open schools?
A resolution sponsored by Del. Mark Keam, a Democrat, who represents Vienna and a sliver of McLean, and Del. Jim LeMunyon, a Republican, who represents Chantilly and Centreville, passed in 2011 requiring that the General Assembly’s website provide this year an easy way for the public to look up votes by a delegate’s name.
"This is a significant change because until now, if a constituent wanted to find out how a delegate voted on a bill, the constituent needed to look up each bill — one by one — and read through the lists of yes and no votes until they found their own legislator’s name.
"With more than 1,000 bills considered each year by the General Assembly, it’s virtually impossible to track the voting record of any legislator," Keam and LeMunyon have said.
The bill, passed the Republican-dominated House of Delegates with the support of the Speaker of the House, Bill Howell last year. The House of Delegates resolution applies not only to floor votes, but to all recorded committee and subcommittee votes as well. It passed the House 63–32.
The new website feature took effect for this General Assembly session. Here's the link. Just select the name of the delegate from the box in the upper left-hand corner. Then click Show Votes on the right-hand side at the top.
McLean is represented in the House of Delegates by Barbara Comstock (R), Bob Brink (D) and Mark Keam (D).
As for tracking votes of state Senators, voters still need to figure that out the hard way---by looking at each bill. The formerly Democratic-controlled state Senate defeated the bill to help voters last year. The state Senate is now evely split between Republicans and Democrats.