In announcing that the yeas and nays are ordered to be taken, the President should say ; "The yeas and nays are required by Mr.
------, and Mr. ----- . The Secretary will call the names of the members."
When the roll has been gone through, the Secretary should read over first the names of those who have answered in the affirmative, and then the names of those who have answered in the negative, in order that if he has made any mistake, it may be corrected at once, and before the result is declared by the President.
Every member is bound to vote, unless excused, or unless he is immediately and particularly interested in the question at issue. Any member wishing to be excused from voting, may make a brief verbal statement of his reasons, and the question must then be taken without further debate. This is the usage in Congress.
After the yeas and nays have been ordered to be called, and any one member has answered and voted, all further debate is excluded. It is not allowable for any member to change his vote, after the yeas and nays have been called, unless he avers that he voted in mistake. No member can be permitted to vote after the decision has been announced from the chair.
If any question arises on a point of order, during a division, or while the yeas and nays are being called, for example, as to the right or the duty of a member to vote, the presiding officer must decide it peremptorily. In a case of this kind there can be no debate.
The name of the President should always be called last.* When the result of the vote is ascertained by the Secretary, the President will say; "On agreeing to the motion the yeas are so many, (naming the number) - the nays are so many - it is agreed to, or not agreed to," as the case may be.
* In our State Legislature the names of the members are called in alphabetical order, excepting that of the Speaker, which is placed at the tail of the list.
In the Legislative bodies of most of the New England States, the votes of the members are given by the members holding up their right hands - those in the affirmative vote first, and then those in the negative. This is also the usage in some religious bodies.
In Parliament every member is required to give his vote one way or the other. It is not permitted to any one to withdraw, who is in the house when the question is put, nor is any one to be counted in the division who was not in when the question was put.