The Errors in Voteview

In the process of my ongoing investigations and inquiries of legislative ideological behavior, I have found a stumbling block in looking at the data. There are naturally some errors. These usually involve mixing names with votes. For instance, if two members of a Congress have the last name Brown there is a chance that there will be an error in vote tabulation. This has happened more than once, by the way. While I think both voteview.org through UCLA and Govtrack are useful and accessible resources, they both have these errors contained within. I determine an error based on what was recorded in the Congressional Record, which I regard as the ultimate primary source for Congress. I of course have not found all errors, but these are ones I have stumbled on so far in trying to create ratings for the MC-Index:

74th Congress: John Robsion’s (R-Ky.) and A. Willis Robertson’s (D-Va.) votes are swapped on overriding President Roosevelt’s veto of the 1936 veterans bonus bill on January 24, 1936. Robsion voted “yea” while Robertson voted “nay”.


79th Congress: William Lemke’s (R-N.D.) and Charles Robertson’s (R-N.D.) votes are swapped.

81st Congress: William P. Bolton (D-Md.) and Frances Bolton (R-Ohio) are swapped on the votes on striking public housing from the 1949 housing bill, recommitting the housing bill, and the bill itself. Bolton (D-Md.) opposed public housing and Bolton (R-Ohio) favored. These were all held on June 29, 1949.


Representatives Edgar Jonas (R-Ill.) and Ben Jensen (R-Iowa) are mistakenly marked as “yea” for the Far Eastern Assistance Act in 1950 while Representatives J. Leroy Johnson (R-Calif.) and Walter Judd (R-Minn.) are mistakenly marked as “nay”. This vote was held on February 9, 1950.

On the votes on FEPC, Representatives J. Caleb Boggs (R-Del.) and Hale Boggs (D-La.) are swapped on both the McConnell Amendment and final passage. John Phillips (R-Calif.) and Dayton Phillips (R-Tenn.) are swapped on final passage. Fred Crawford (R-Mich.) is mistakenly marked as “nay” on the McConnell Amendment to the FEPC while William J. Green (D-Penn.) and Robert Corbett (R-Penn.) are mistakenly marked as “yea”. These votes were held on February 22, 1950.


89th Congress: Senators Milward Simpson (R-Wyo.) and Hugh Scott (R-Penn.) are swapped on the Fair Labor Standards Act Amendments of 1966 final vote on August 26, 1966. Simpson, who was arch-conservative, paired against, and Scott, a moderate, voted for.
E. Ross Adair (R-Ind.) and Watkins Abbitt (D-Va.) are swapped on the conference report of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 on August 3, 1965. Adair voted for while Abbitt voted against.


90th Congress: George Brown (D-Calif.) and Clarence Brown (R-Ohio) are mixed up on the Wyman (R-N.H.) amendment denying funding for students participating in certain demonstrations on college campuses, May 9, 1968. Brown (R-Ohio) voted for the amendment, and Brown (D-Calif.) voted against.


91st Congress: Alabama Democrats George W. Andrews, Tom Bevill, and Walter Flowers did NOT favor retention of the Philadelphia Plan. The vote was on December 23, 1969.


92nd Congress:

George P. Miller (D-Calif.) and Clarence E. Miller (R-Ohio) are mixed up on the Hathaway (D-Me.) amendment to the education appropriations bill increasing funds by $728.6 million. California’s Miller supported, Ohio’s Miller opposed. The vote is on April 7, 1971.
Jack Edwards (R-Ala.) and Don Edwards (D-Calif.) switch on 1972 proposed 5% defense cut from Don Riegle (R-Mich.) on September 14, 1972.


93rd Congress: Garry Brown (R-Mich.) and Clarence Brown (R-Ohio) votes are swapped for the whole Congress and John W. Stanton’s (R-Ohio) and James V. Stanton’s (D-Ohio) are swapped for 1974; Robert Bauman’s and Alphonzo Bell’s are also mixed up in 1974.


Senators Barry Goldwater (R-Ariz.) and J. William Fulbright (D-Ark.) switched on Rhodesia sanctions. Goldwater voted AGAINST and Fulbright voted FOR sanctions for Rhodesia on December 18, 1973.

94th Congress: Representatives Barbara Collins (D-Ill.) and Jim Collins (R-Tex.) switched on Stratton Amendment permitting women to join military academies, May 20, 1975.

95th Congress: Hamilton Fish (R-N.Y.) and Joseph Fisher (D-Va.) are swapped on the February 8, 1978 vote on the proposed Consumer Protection Act.

98th Congress: The vote on the Civil Rights Act of 1984 on June 26, 1984 in the House counts absences as votes against.

One thought on “The Errors in Voteview

  1. Hilarious IF You Are Familiar With The Participants! OUR Political History IS Much More Entertaining Than Most People Realize Today. Lots Of Colorful & Controversial Figures. Individuals Mattered More. Grateful For Your Work. A Grin From Dave.

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