October 2, 2012: The non-partisan Rhode Island Center for Freedom and Prosperity announced today the launch of RIVotes.com, an online transparency tool that allows the public easy access to the voting records of state legislators as well as the capacity to search for and track pieces of legislation in the most comprehensive manner available during the legislative session.
RIVotes.com is designed to help community leaders, businesspersons, newspersons, public officials, and members of the general public understand how their legislators voted on bills that affect their communities, businesses, schools, or families. This transparency and accountability website allows citizens take a more active part in the democratic process.
- View the voting record of any legislator by all bills, by category, or by date range.
- Easily create a “Missed Votes” or a “Voted Against Majority of own Party” report.
- Find bills of specific interested, with searches by topic, keyword, date range, or bill number.
- Build your own custom “scorecard”: choose the bills to include and the “correct” vote; RIVotes.com automatically creates a legislator-by-legislator scorecard.
- Interactive discussion forums and social media integration to allow you to join with other citizens in posting comments and initiating viral distribution.
- Sign up for automatic email notification when action is taken on bills that interest you.
“Combined with our recently released General Assembly Freedom Index, our Center is providing unprecedented transparency to citizens about the voting histories of their state Senators and Representatives,” said Mike Stenhouse, CEO for the Center. “In order to protect our free and democratic society, citizens must remain well informed about what their government is doing and must hold their legislators accountable for how they vote,” added Stenhouse.
The RI Center for Freedom & Prosperity also plans to utilize a new feature of RIVotes.com to automatically send out regular voting summaries to local media entities and to interested taxpayer groups during the 2013 legislative session.
RIVotes.com is the second transparency website launched by the Center: RIOpenGov.org was launched in 2011 to provide detailed pension payment data for state and municipal employees. RIVotes.com is a copyrighted product of the Mackinac Center for Public Policy.
The Rhode Island Center for Freedom and Prosperity, a non-partisan public policy think tank, is the state’s leading free-enterprise advocacy organization. With a credo that freedom is indispensable to citizens’ well-being and prosperity, the Center’s mission is to stimulate a rigorous exchange of ideas with the goal of restoring competitiveness to Rhode Island through the advancement of market-based reform solutions.
WATCH: Mike Stenhouse discusses “What’s a Citizen to Do?” on State of the State TV