Listen to Mary: The Voice of Florida's Legislature
By late Tuesday morning, Florida's AutoReader (nicknamed Mary) bragged in a tweet: ... I have now read 1.2 million words.
Mary became the bona fide star in Tallahassee political circles. House staffers even gave Mary her own Twitter account: FLHouseAutoReader.
The computer software was purchased back in 2006 by then House Speaker Marco Rubio. But Mary was kept in the closet, so to speak, never heard from until the 2013 legislative session.
Mary is the Republican majority's response to the Democrats use of a rarely used rule that requires all bills to be read aloud in their entirety before a vote. The minority party used the rule with the hope of pressuring Republicans into another vote on Medicaid expansion.
Republicans responded by pulling the AutoReader out of the closet, plugging it in and setting "Mary" to read at a brisk pace. The electronic reader is now reading the bills at warp speed.
Listen to Greg Allen's story you can hear Mary's speed increase dramatically between Monday and Tuesday to an almost unintelligible pace.
Wednesday when asked in a tweet about the final vote on the budget, the FLHouseAutoReader Mary responded: I don't lead. I only read.
When Mary signed off, she had 685 followers and had sent out 73 tweets.