Now this is how how voting is done:
bq. So instead of being recorded as absent, the council members have a technological fix: The chamber’s voting software is set to automatically register each of the 15 lawmakers as a “yes” unless members deliberately press a button to vote “no.”
bq. The “yes” votes then flash on video screens throughout the chamber — and are placed in the clerk’s official record — even when members have left to grab a snack in the hall or hold a meeting.
It gets better.
bq. Last year, for example, Alarcon made concurrent meetings so routine that he scheduled them on his official appointment calendar to coincide with the council’s regular 10 a.m. public sessions. The calendar showed he had appointments planned during 57 council meetings last year.
bq. The rules of the council state that members must activate their own voting machines and must be within the council chamber to be counted as present. But the city attorney who advises the council said his office has defined the “chamber” to include the back rooms, bathrooms and news conference area, all of which are out of public view.
More is here.
[Hat tip to John Balz.]