The Legislative Process

Voting on the Floor

In either chamber, a bill may be passed on a voice vote or a record vote. In the House, record votes are tallied by an electronic vote board controlled by buttons on each member’s desk. In the Senate, record votes are taken by calling the roll of the members.

Voting buttons in the Texas House
Figure 3.11 Texas House members cast floor votes electronically from their desks from a panel like this one. Image Credit: Andrew Teas License: CC BY
Voting Board in Texas House Chamber
Figure 3.12 The results of floor votes in the Texas House of Representatives are displayed on this board at the front of the Chamber. While the Speaker is a member of the House and is entitled to cast a vote on any measure, the presiding officer by tradition typically votes "present" as a sign of deferring to the judgment of the House membership. Image Credit: Andrew Teas License: CC BY

If a bill receives a majority vote on third reading, it is considered passed. When a bill is passed in the house where it originated, the bill is engrossed, and a new copy of the bill which incorporates all corrections and amendments is prepared and sent to the opposite chamber for consideration. In the second house, the bill follows basically the same steps it followed in the first house. When the bill is passed in the opposite house, it is returned to the originating chamber with any amendments that have been adopted simply attached to the bill.