Governor Rell: Gov. Rell Signs Bill Requiring Elections to Fill U.S. Senate Vacancies

{Seal of the State of Connecticut}


M. Jodi Rell

June 26, 2009

Governor Rell Signs Bill Requiring

Elections to Fill U.S. Senate Vacancies


Law Changes Process of Governor Appointing Replacement



            Governor M. Jodi Rell today announced that she has signed legislation that requires vacancies in the office of a United States Senator to be filled by direct elections rather than by an appointment by the Governor.


            The bill provides a direct election by the voters to fill a vacancy within a total of 160 days of the vacancy or at the next regular state or municipal election if such election would take place not less than 63 days or more than 125 days from the date of the Senate vacancy.


            “Although the current process for filling a Senate vacancy has worked well in our state for many decades, this bill gives directly to the people of Connecticut the decision on who would fill a vacancy in the U.S. Senate,” Governor Rell said. “Since taking office as Governor, I have done everything in my power to make Connecticut a model for all states when it comes to openness, transparency and citizen participation in government.


            “We are fortunate to live in a participatory democracy, where our people do indeed have a voice in how they are governed,” the Governor said. “This law is consistent with my long-held belief that we should take every action possible to involve our citizens in their government.”


            The bill specifically provides that:


  • Once a vacancy occurs, the Governor will issue a writ within 10 days and the special election will be held on the 150th day after the writ is issued.
  • If the vacancy occurs between 63 and 125 days before the scheduled state election, then the election to fill the Senate vacancy will be held on Election Day.
  • If the vacancy occurs in the last year of the Senate term, the Governor nominates a candidate to serve the remaining portion of the term and that candidate must be approved by two-thirds of the members in both chambers of the Legislature.
  • If the office is on the ballot at the next state election and the vacancy occurs not more than 62 days before the election, no special election will be held. 

            The legislation – Substitute Bill 913, An Act Concerning United States Senate Vacancies – takes effect immediately.





Content Last Modified on 6/26/2009 11:21:10 AM

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