||The examples and perspective in this article deal primarily with the United States and do not represent a worldwide view of the subject. (December 2010)|
Roll call is the calling of the names of people from a list (roll) to determine the presence or absence of the listed people (also known as a register in regions such as the United Kingdom). The term applies to the calling itself, to the time moment of this procedure, and to a military signal that announces it (e.g. by a drum).
In traditions of some schools, the term refers to a general assembly for various daily announcements.
A roll call of honor is a ceremonial roll call of honorably fallen people or a list of these people.
Both houses of the United States Congress are given broad latitude to establish their own rules under Article One of the United States Constitution. No court has ever challenged this occasionally controversial practice by striking down a law passed without the physical presence of a majority of senators in the chamber at the time of passage, although there have been attempts to challenge some acts on this ground, such as the Palm Sunday Compromise in the case of Terri Schiavo.
In the 20th century, electrical devices were installed that permit most quorum calls in either house to be taken automatically. The Speaker of the House or the President pro tem of the Senate may direct the clerk to use an oral roll call.
By the standing rules of the United States Senate, the quorum may be established by a roll call (quorum call) only and not by any other method, such as a head count. Any senator may demand a roll call at any moment to establish the quorum. Once the call is performed the quorum is assumed to be present until a senator suggests otherwise. This practice enables the Senate to engage in debate and conduct less controversial business without requiring the physical presence of fifty-one senators in the chamber.
House of Representatives
The House allows for a quorum call, which is effectively the same as a roll call. The Speaker of the House can direct a vote or quorum to be taken by tellers, who are assistants of the Clerk. In this case Members will come to the front of the Chamber to have their votes recorded manually by a teller. The history of 200 years of parliamentary procedural rulings governs arcane rules surrounding the recording of votes or quorums by tellers.
In many United States police departments a daily roll call and inspection is performed. For uniformed units, the procedure is typically as follows: Officers present themselves to their supervisor for inspection. This is to ensure that officers are properly and professionally attired. Weapons and other equipment are inspected to ensure they are in working order and ready for use. The roll is called, followed by a briefing. This may include daily assignments, information on recent crimes, descriptions of wanted or missing persons, important notifications from the previous shift, and any other information deemed necessary or useful. This event was a hallmark for many police shows like Adam-12, Hill Street Blues, COPS, and Reno 911!.
- Recorded vote in the United States Congress, often called a roll-call vote.
- Division (vote)
- Lament for the Makaris