Last reviewed October 2016
Minnesota Issues Resource Guides
Legislator Voting Records and Ratings
This guide is compiled by staff at the Minnesota Legislative Reference Library on a topic of interest to state legislators. It introduces the topic and points to sources for further research. It is not intended to be exhaustive.
The votes that Senators and Representatives cast are a matter of public record and are recorded in the official Senate and House Journals. The House Journals are available on the Legislature's website from 1994 to the present and Senate Journals are available from 1996 to the present. For earlier years, use the print volumes available at the Legislative Reference Library, Minnesota State Law Library, Minnesota History Center and various other libraries.
The easiest way to view the votes on House bills for the current session or sessions back to the 2001 first special session, go to Recorded Roll Call Floor Votes to get House votes by date or by bill number. (Another option for House voting records is Open States--a website that compiles voting records for all states.) A comparable system does not exist for the Senate.
Another way to view votes on House bills for the current session or sessions back to the 1999, go to Legislation and Bill Status. Click on "Search House Bills." Find the bill you are interested in. Click on "Status." Clicking on the vote total in the roll call column will be take you to the votes by name.
For House votes from 1995 to the 1999, you will need to click on the link to the journal page number that follows a vote on the bill status screen. Click on the link to see how each member voted.
To view the votes on Senate bills for the current session back to 1995, go to Legislation and Bill Status. Click on "Search Senate Bills." Find the bill you are interested in. Click on "Status." Scroll down to the bottom of the bill status table. The final passage vote total will be listed. Next to that is a link to the journal page recording the vote. Click on the link to see how each member voted.
There are no official compilations of voting records. Some Senators and Representatives have their staff keep track of votes. In addition, interest groups sometimes compile voting records on all bills covering a specific subject area. Be aware, however, that these compilations can be partisan in nature. The Legislative Library has collected some of these interest group publications in print, and some are also available on the Internet. Please ask if you want more information on which groups we track and for what years information is available.
Other interest groups sometimes provide voting records on bills covering a specific subject area. Here is a list of groups providing this information on the Internet:
Other Sources of Information
For historical information, check the following codes in the Newspaper Clipping File and the Vertical File:
- Codes for clippings from 1999 to date and the Vertical File:
- Codes for clippings prior to 1999: