Only one Whatcom legislator cast every vote in 2014

THE BELLINGHAM HERALDMarch 18, 2014 

Vincent Buys

Washington state Rep. Vincent Buys, R-Lynden

STEVE BLOOM — THE OLYMPIAN

Kevin Ranker had the fourth worst voting-attendance record in the state Senate, but he was busy writing a budget at the end of the 2014 legislative session.

Sen. Ranker, D-Orcas Island, missed 23 of 396 roll-call votes, which is less than 6 percent.

"I'm surprised it's not more," Ranker said on Tuesday, March 18 - five days after the session ended. "I was one of four budget negotiators in the whole Senate. Sen. Hargrove (the other leading Democrat on the Senate Ways and Means Committee) is probably at a similar number."

James Hargrove's eight missed votes ranked ninth in the Senate. Twenty-five of the 49 members did not miss any votes, according to the annual missed-votes report from the Washington Policy Center. The report is at the center's website, WashingtonVotes.org.

Sen. Doug Ericksen, R-Ferndale, also was fairly high on the list, ranking eighth with nine missed votes.

"As you will note from the list of bills that I did not vote on, none of them were controversial," Ericksen wrote in an email to The Bellingham Herald. Of Ericksen's nine missed votes, five were for bills that passed the Senate 48-0.

"Many of the votes that I missed were due to the fact that I was working on bills/issues in the House of Representatives at the time of the vote," Ericksen said.

Unlike representatives, senators cannot have someone else cast their vote for them.

On the House side, Vincent Buys, R-Lynden, didn't miss a single vote for the fourth year in a row. He's in a group of 27 representatives who have cast every vote for at least the past four years.

Kristine Lytton, D-Anacortes, missed two votes. Jason Overstreet, R-Blaine, missed three.

Jeff Morris, D-Mount Vernon, missed nine of the 515 roll-call votes in the House, or less than 2 percent. Morris said depending on the day, he was either negotiating a bill or taking a child to school.

Of the 98 representatives, 65 had a perfect voting-attendance record in 2014.

Reach Ralph Schwartz at 360-715-2289 or ralph.schwartz@bellinghamherald.com. Read his Politics blog at bellinghamherald.com/politics-blog or get updates on Twitter at @bhampolitics.

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