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How Republicans Plan To Stop Losing Special Elections

Discussion in 'U.S. Politics' started by Old_Trapper70, Mar 15, 2018.

  1. Old_Trapper70

    Old_Trapper70 Well-Known Member

    Dec 17, 2014
    Likes Received:
    Its easy. Just quit having them:


    "Governors in half of all states are empowered to call special elections to fill vacant state legislative seats. A number of them also have the power to call special elections to fill vacant US Senate seats, and all of them are supposed to call special elections to fill vacant seats in the US House. Historically, this awesome authority has been considered a duty that is best exercised quickly and without partisan calculation. But that’s not how the system works these days. Governors like Walker are leaving legislative seats open for months longer than need be—and, in many cases, for as much as a year. In Michigan, Republican Governor Rick Snyder is leaving a US House seat in a heavily Democratic district open for almost the entire second session of the 115th Congress. In Alabama, Republicans are busy rewriting election laws so that there will never be another special election like the one in December that handed Democrat Doug Jones the Senate seat once held by Jeff Sessions.

    “If you’re a Republican governor, what do you do when you can’t seem to win special elections?” asks Carolyn Fiddler, who follows legislative races with the Statehouse Action project. “You stop having them, of course!”

    That’s not a calculus that Republican governors like Walker or Snyder or Florida’s Rick Scott would ever admit to. They gripe about the cost of organizing special elections; Snyder has also claimed that special elections don’t provide enough time for prospective candidates to prepare to run and be seated. Republicans note, correctly, that there have been Democratic abusers of this process as well. For the most part, however, it is Republican governors—the same officials who have embraced extreme gerrymandering, purged voter rolls, restricted same-day registration, narrowed the hours for early voting, and otherwise suppressed popular sovereignty—who are taking advantage of imprecise special-election laws to tip the balance in their favor. For example, when a state statute insists, as Wisconsin’s does, that a vacancy must be “filled as promptly as possible by special election,” what exactly does “promptly” mean?"

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