Release: Club for Growth Foundation Releases South Dakota Missed Votes Scorecard


WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Club for Growth Foundation today released its Missed Votes scorecard for the South Dakota Legislature’s 2021 session. The newly launched Missed Votes Scorecards calculate how often lawmakers show up to vote and how often they miss votes.

Lawmakers miss votes for a whole host of reasons, including medical issues, family concerns, prior commitments, purely political motivations, or other reasons. The Club for Growth Foundation has not analyzed why any lawmaker has missed a vote and is simply publishing this quantified information for educational purposes only.

According to Club for Growth Foundation President David McIntosh, “Constituents need to know the missed votes records of their representatives so they can decide for themselves if elected officials are avoiding a difficult vote or have a legitimate reason for missing a particular vote. Sadly, this information is often not available, and that is why the Club for Growth Foundation is publishing Missed Votes scorecards.”

This scorecard is based on a review of all floor votes taken in the South Dakota Legislature for January 20, 2021 to March 29, 2021. There are inherent limitations in judging the overall qualifications of any legislator based on how many votes he or she has missed, and the Club for Growth Foundation does not endorse or oppose any legislator for public office.

Key Insights

South Dakota Senate

The average South Dakota senator missed 3% of 332 total floor votes. Senator Julie Frye-Mueller (SD-30) missed the most votes – 60 votes out of 332 – for a score of 18% missed. By not missing a single vote, the following senators received a perfect attendance score:

Sen. Jim Bolin (SD-16)
Sen. Bryan Breitling (SD-23)
Sen. Gary Cammack (SD-29)
Sen. Jessica Castleberry (SD-35)
Sen. Casey Crabtree (SD-08)
Sen. Michael Diedrich (SD-34)
Sen. Mary Duvall (SD-24)
Sen. David Johnson (SD-33)
Sen. Jack Kolbeck (SD-13)
Sen. Ryan Maher (SD-28)
Sen. Reynold Nesiba (SD-15)
Sen. Kyle Schoenfish (SD-19)
Sen. Wayne Steinhauer (SD-09)

South Dakota House of Representatives

The average South Dakota House member missed 3% of 373 total floor votes. Rep. Peri Pourier (HD-27) missed the most votes – 90 votes out of 373 – for a score of 24%. By not missing a single vote, the following house members received a perfect attendance score:

Rep. David Anderson (HD-16)
Rep. Hugh Bartels (HD-05)
Rep. Doug Barthel (HD-10)
Rep. Shawn Bordeaux (HD-26A)
Rep. Roger Chase (HD-22)
Rep. Ryan Cwach (HD-18)
Rep. Drew Dennert (HD-03)
Rep. Mike Derby (HD-34)
Rep. Becky Drury (HD-32)
Rep. Linda Duba (HD-15)
Rep. Mary Fitzgerald (HD-31)
Rep. Timothy Goodwin (HD-30)
Rep. Randy Gross (HD-08)
Rep. Steven Haugaard (HD-10)
Rep. Erin Healy (HD-14)
Rep. Charles Hoffman (HD-23)
Rep. Kevin Jensen (HD-16)
Rep. Chris Johnson (HD-32)
Rep. Jennifer Keintz (HD-01)
Rep. Lance Koth (HD-20)
Rep. Elizabeth May (HD-27)
Rep. Paul Miskimins (HD-20)
Rep. Scott Odenbach (HD-31)
Rep. Ernie Otten (HD-06)
Rep. Marty Overweg (HD-19)
Rep. Carl Perry (HD-03)
Rep. Tom Pischke (HD-25)
Rep. Tony Randolph (HD-35)
Rep. Lynn Schneider (HD-22)
Rep. Mike Stevens (HD-18)
Rep. Richard Thomson (HD-13)
Rep. Mike Weisgram (HD-24)
Rep. Mark Willadsen (HD-11)
Rep. Nancy York (HD-05)


6 thoughts on “Release: Club for Growth Foundation Releases South Dakota Missed Votes Scorecard”

  1. Sen Frye-Mueller’s father I believe passed away during the session so this is a bit misleading for her. I can’t imagine anyone criticizing her or anyone else for missing votes for that reason. You can disagree with her policies or votes but that is misleading.

    This could have been better done. Were key or controversial bills missed or routine 69-0 bills missed?

    1. I agee. Hey, I’m the first one to harp on the ineptness and self-servitude of JFM, but it would be more accurate if this report card included the most critical bills and not all of the fluffy, 70-0 ones. Just sayin.

  2. I’m fulfilled seeing this.

    If we’re going to pay stimulus dollars, we should encourage independent civic engagement in “return” (quotes because with pseudo-elected government, it’s tough to say who is who in the transaction).

    Why not also employ citizens for data collection on things like weather, air, and water quality, which has no right to privacy? This model is exceptionally audit-able since readings would have GPS.

  3. I would be interested to know why this organization chooses to report on this particular metric.

    It does not seem all that useful to me. Generally the legislators who are gone a lot had some particular reason, such as an illness or a death in the family that was mentioned above.

    Without knowing the reason for the absence, this data doesn’t really tell you much.

    1. Just say something about the swamp and such nuance will melt away. Why worry about facts when there is a narrative to be had?

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