Missouri House mulls special elections for vacancies

Wednesday, January 27, 2010 | 8:21 a.m. CST; updated 10:27 a.m. CST, Wednesday, January 27, 2010

JEFFERSON CITY — A Missouri House committee is considering whether vacancies in statewide offices should be filled through special elections rather than appointments by the governor.

Under current law, the governor appoints a replacement if a statewide official such as attorney general or U.S. senator leaves office. The appointee finishes the term.

Republican House member Jason Smith of Salem is sponsoring the special elections bill. Smith says Missouri voters should be guaranteed the right to pick their elected officials.

The House Elections Committee has considered Smith's bill but has not voted upon it.

A vacancy in the governor's office is filled according to an order of succession in the Missouri Constitution.


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