January 17, 2014 •
Still No Word on Special Elections to Fill Missouri Legislative Vacancies
Ten Missouri residents filed suit in early January asking a judge to compel Gov. Jay Nixon to call special elections to fill vacant legislative seats. The governor is granted constitutional authority to do so and is required to issue a writ of election without delay.
Perhaps most problematic are the political ramifications of the Democratic governor’s refusal to act. With the vacancies, House Republicans sit just one vote shy of the two-thirds majority needed to override gubernatorial vetoes.
Plaintiffs contend constituents living in the affected districts are being deprived of a representative voice. Nevertheless, Nixon has yet to definitively set special election dates. If he wants the elections to coincide with the April 8 municipal elections, he needs to issue election proclamations by January 17.
Photo of Gov. Jay Nixon courtesy of Bernard Pollack on Wikimedia Commons.
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