CT: Bysiewicz, Slossberg, Spallone Call For Special Senate Elections

From the StamfordPlus <read>

Bysiewicz and legislative leaders call for special election to fill future U.S. Senate vacancies in Connecticut
By Secretary of the State
Dec 17, 2008 – 3:36 PM

Secretary of the State Points to Senate Vacancies in Illinois, New York as Evidence of the Need for Long Overdue Election Reform

Secretary of the State Susan Bysiewicz today joined the incoming House Chair of the Government, Administration and Elections Committee, State Representative James Spallone (D-Essex) in calling for the adoption of a law designating a special election to fill any future vacancies in Connecticut’s U.S. Senate seats. In the case of a Senate vacancy, current law provides for the governor to appoint a successor to fill out the remainder of a term or until a special election can be called on the date of the next even-numbered general election…

Working together with GAE committee co-chairs, Senator Gayle Slossberg (D-Milford) and Representative James Spallone(D-Essex), Secretary Bysiewicz is vowing to bring a similar Senate vacancy bill before the Connecticut General Assembly in the 2009 legislative session.

What does this have to do with Voting Integrity and CTVotersCount?

In general we support the concept of the people filling Senate vacancies. It should not be a partisan issue, but certainly it may seem that way right now in Connecticut with two Democratic Senators and a Republican Governor.

Looking beyond that we believe it is best if the citizens choose the Senator for a vacancy. Even if the Governor and past Senator are in the same party, let the people choose. In Illinois and New York we have Democratic Governors who can appoint anyone.

However, we also point to several additional considerations that are more related to issues covered by CTVotersCount.org

  • Electing a Senator in Connecticut would be expensive for towns: Perhaps $5,000,000 to run the election. Perhaps more if there could be a primary.
  • Electing a Senator in Connecticut could be expensive for voters, and lucrative for media moguls and political consultants. Perhaps $20,000,000 – $40,000,000.
  • But it is worth a lot to us! Our Senators make multi=billion dollar decisions all the time – decisions that mean billions more or less to Connecticut citizens – decisions that mean billions in tax revenue and equity.
  • With all that cost and value, Special Elections are not audited – a relatively minor investment to assure the votes are counted accurately.
  • Over the next few months CTVotersCount will be proposing various reforms to improve voting integrity, some of them will be revenue neutral and others add modest costs.
  • Reforms costing relatively meager sums are likely to have tough sledding in the Legislature. At the same time we predict several other proposals also intended to promote democracy, but with much higher revenue implications than voting integrity.
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