July 25, 2014
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) - Lawmakers in the state Assembly changed or added votes on hundreds of bills during the first half of this year's legislative session, including high-profile ones about the budget, prisons and gun control.
The vote-switching practice, called to attention last year after an Associated Press investigation, gives lawmakers political cover: They can vote one way on a bill or avoid voting altogether when it matters, only to add or change their vote after the fact if it does not alter the outcome.
That allows them to present an official record to their constituents that may be at odds with how they acted at the time the bill passed or failed.
Since the Legislature reconvened in January, every lawmaker in the Assembly has changed or added a vote at least once. In the Senate, only the two party leaders are allowed to change or add votes.
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