seec: FAQs Special Election

State Senate and State Representative 
 
 

 
 
When may I begin raising or spending funds and form a candidate committee for a special election? (rev. 1/6/2011)
 
An individual may not begin raising or spending funds, or incurring expenditures for a special election until there is an official vacancy in the House or Senate.  
 
General Statutes § 9-215 (a) provides as follows:
When any member or member-elect of the General Assembly resigns, the member or member-elect shall resign by notifying the Secretary of the State of the member's or member-elect's decision, and if any member or member-elect of the General Assembly dies, the town clerk from the town in which the member or member-elect resides shall notify the Secretary of the State of such death.

Accordingly, no funds may be raised or spent or expenditures incurred until the resigning member or member-elect notifies the Secretary of the State, or, in the case of a death, the appropriate town clerk notifies the Secretary of the State.  It is the SEEC’s understanding that the Secretary of the State requires such notice to be in writing, but any questions about the procedure to notify the Secretary of the State should be directed to that office (860-509-6100).  
  
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 May I form an exploratory committee for a special election?  (rev. 1/6/2011)
An exploratory committee for a special election may not be formed until there is an official vacancy in office, as discussed in the answer to question 1.  The law does not prohibit candidates from forming an exploratory committee for a special election.   However, given the tight time-frame inherent in special elections (no more than 56 days from the time the Secretary of the State receives notification of the vacancy), exploratory committees are typically not formed for special elections.    
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No.  As explained in the answer to question 1, an individual may not become a candidate for a special election until the Secretary of the State has received notice from the resigning member or member-elect.  A press announcement by the member or member-elect, or by any other person, does not, in itself, trigger a special election.  
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If you paper-file your registration , you may fill in the “election date” in box one by writing  “est.” and providing an estimated date for the special election.  The paper filing will be scanned and made available on eCRIS and the information from the paper filings is also electronically entered and made searchable.   Once the date is officially determined by the Secretary of the State the agency will ensure that the electronic eCRIS entry reflects the actual date of the special election. 

If you electronically file your registration, you should contact an SEEC Elections Officer (860-256-2985) for the estimated date associated with the special election and use that date to fill in an estimated date.   Again, once the date is officially determined by the Secretary of the State, the agency will ensure that eCRIS reflects the actual date.
 
Note:  The estimated date is calculated by adding fifty-six days to the notice of resignation delivered to the Secretary of the State.  In order to calculate the date, you must know the date notice was given to the Secretary of the State’s office.
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Yes.  Candidates running in a special election may seek to qualify for public campaign funds. 
 
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Yes.  There is a narrow exception to the sessional lobbyist contribution ban for special elections.  This exception spans from the time that the candidate registers his or her committee with the SEEC until the date of the special election.  Note that communicator lobbyists and their immediate family members are limited to contributing up to $100 to candidates for General Assembly pursuant to General Statutes § 9-610 (g), as amended by Public Act 10-01. 
 
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All registered candidates who are in a special election are assigned an Elections Officer, who is your candidate services liaison.   Your EO will assist you with any questions you may have, and will help guide you through the process.  If you have any questions before you have been assigned an Elections Officer, please call the Candidate Services Unit at 860-256-2985.


 






Content Last Modified on 9/19/2017 1:06:46 PM