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Casting Vote of the Speaker

The Speaker does not participate in debate and votes only in cases of a tie. In such an eventuality, the Speaker is responsible for breaking the tie by casting a vote.

In theory, the Speaker has the same freedom as any other Member to vote in accordance with his or her conscience; however, the exercise of this responsibility could involve the Speaker in partisan debate, which would adversely affect the confidence of the House in the Speaker’s impartiality. Therefore, certain conventions have developed as a guide to Speakers in the infrequent exercise of the casting vote.

The Speaker will normally vote to maintain the status quo, as follows:

When using the casting vote, the Speaker may briefly explain the reasons for voting in a given manner. The reasons are then entered in the Journals.

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