An Alabama senator wants to change the way empty seats are filled in the Legislature. Recent vacancies have set the stage for three special elections near the end of four-year terms, elections for seats that will almost immediately be up for grabs again. Under the state Constitution, when a lawmaker resigns, dies or is removed from office, the governor schedules a special election, and the seat stays empty until the election is decided. Sen. Rusty Glover, R-Semmes, proposes amending the Constitution so that if a vacancy occurs during the last two years of the term, the governor would appoint a replacement to finish the term. The appointee could not run for a full term.
The governor would still call special elections for vacancies that occur in the first two years of a term.
Glover said his bill would address several concerns, including the lack of representation in districts with a vacant seat and the cost of special elections.
There are two vacancies in the 105-seat Alabama House and one in the 35-seat Senate.