Sunday, September 30, 2007

The Select Committee on Roll Call Vote 814 has issued a preliminary report:

The report outlined four areas of investigation, including an investigation of who is regularly on the Speaker’s dais and how their responsibilities relate to voting.

The panel’s final report is due no later than Sept. 15, 2008.

The probe will dissect the voting process, from the use of electronic voting machines to the proper duration of a vote, to determine what went wrong the night the House melted down into partisan chaos following a vote on a Republican motion to recommit that was gaveled early and ended in an unclear tally.

The panel, formally named the Select Committee on Roll Call Vote Number 814 and led by Reps. Bill Delahunt (D-Mass.) and Mike Pence (R-Ind.), will use the information to recommend changes to the House voting system in an effort to rectify any lingering problems that could lead to another chaotic situation such as the one of Aug. 2.

House Clerk Lorraine Miller told the six members of the Select Committee on Roll Call Vote Number 814 that while the voting tally has not been located, the paper voting cards located in the well of the Speaker rostrum had been preserved for the investigation. The voting tally is a piece of paper with the final count that is passed to the chairman to be read for the official record.

The reason the tally is missing was not detailed Thursday, but that likely will be tackled as the committee’s work progresses.

A video of the committee's first public hearing is available here. Both the chair, Rep. Delahunt (D-MA), and ranking member, Rep. Pence (R-IN), say they're hopeful about the success of a bi-partisan investigation.