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Old 10-01-2008, 10:33   #223
Senior Member
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Georgia
Posts: 183
Originally Posted by farnhamj View Post
You just said that "It is common practice" to vote present, yet they don't vote present... so did he not show up or just not vote? I don't understand. Please Clarify. Thanks.
Let's start over.
Obama served in the Illinois legislature (Senate) for seven years, from 1997-2004. During his tenure he voted over 4,000 times.
The Illinois legislature has an odd system of voting that allows members to vote "yes", "no" or "present". Generally, a present vote is used when a member formerly supported a bill but no longer does based on amendments to the bill, or other tactical reasons. Sometimes large blocks of legislators vote present. Sometimes only one will.
Of Obama's 4,000 plus votes in the Illinois Sentate, he voted "present" 129 times, or roughly 3% of the time. One source for this information can be found at:

Now, about the US Senate. There is no such thing as a "present" vote. The GOP tacticians who write the talking points that fellow GT members keep repeating know this, but they spread it anyway. So we hear the lies here, even though the GT members apparently don't know any better.
I hope that clarified things.
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