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|Quinn On Board With Holding Special Elections for Senate Appointments
|Governor Pat Quinn is throwing his support behind a bill to require a special election when there's a vacancy in the U.S. Senate.
The bill would require a primary within 11 weeks of a vacancy, and a general election six weeks after that. In the interim, Quinn says there could be a temporary appointment, so assure that Illinois has its full complement of two senators during the roughly four months the election process would take.
The bill doesn't bar an appointed senator from running for the seat, but Quinn says as governor, he would appoint someone who would promise not to.
Quinn vows to work to pass this bill and have it in place in case Senator Roland Burris (D-Ill.) succumbs to pressure and resigns. A Republican proposal unveiled earlier this week would schedule a special election regardless of what Burris does. Republicans argue that under the 17th Amendment, an appointed senator serves until the next election, not necessarily the next regular election. Quinn called that interpretation dubious.
The 17th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, ratified in 1913:
"The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two Senators from each State, elected by the people thereof, for six years; and each Senator shall have one vote. The electors in each State shall have the qualifications requisite for electors of the most numerous branch of the State legislatures."
"When vacancies happen in the representation of any State in the Senate, the executive authority of each State shall issue writs of election to fill such vacancies: Provided, That the legislature of any State may empower the executive thereof to make temporary appointments until the people fill the vacancies by election as the legislature may direct."
"This amendment shall not be so construed as to affect the election or term of any Senator chosen before it becomes valid as part of the Constitution."
The special election bill the governor supports is sponsored by State Representative Jack Franks (D-Woodstock).
(Illinois Radio Network)
|02 20 09 by Newsroom
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