A closer look at the 10 who missed Senate Bill 2 vote

Rep. Charles Jeter, R-Mecklenburg
Rep. Charles Jeter, R-Mecklenburg dlaird@charlotteobserver.com

Ten House members were absent for the veto override vote that turned Senate Bill 2 into law, codifying discrimination into state statutes, and it’s questionable if the override vote would have been successful had all 10 been present.

The vote to override Gov. Pat McCrory’s veto was 69-41. Legislators need three-fifths of those voting to vote in the affirmative. That would be 66 of 110. But if all 120 House members had voted, the winning number would have been 72. So could supporters have garnered three more votes from the missing 10?

Of the 10 who were absent, there were four Democrats and six Republicans. The Democrats: Howard Hunter III, Garland Pierce, Evelyn Terry and Michael Wray. The Republicans: Brian Brown, John Bradford, Jon Hardister, Julia Howard, Charles Jeter and Lee Zachary.

When the House first approved the bill last month, all four of those Democrats voted against it. Of the Republicans, Bradford, Hardister and Jeter also voted against it. Brown, Howard and Zachary voted for it. So if all 10 had voted today and all 10 stuck with their original votes, the veto still would have been overridden – right on the magic number of 72.

The vote was helped by Republican Rep. John Fraley switching his vote. He voted against the bill initially but today voted to override the veto.

We’re not sure what reasons those 10 representatives have for missing one of the biggest votes of the session. Perhaps some had legitimate business or personal reasons not to be there. Perhaps some found the political pressure or incentives too much to pass up. -- Taylor Batten