Mid-Tuesday afternoon while much of America was either enjoying St. Patrick’s Day, Twitter suddenly blew up with the news that Illinois Congressman Aaron Schock (R-18th District) announced his resignation. While the journalists and political gadfly’s on social media made light of the resignation or talked about its impact on politics, all electionline could think was of those poor elections administrators and volunteers in Illinois. Now some of those elections officials are going to have conduct a special election to replace Schock on top of previously planned spring elections and for some, on top of other special elections. “In a year when state revenues are almost certain to decrease, the increased cost of an unanticipated and unbudgeted election is particularly difficult,” Peoria County Administrator Lori Curtis Luther told the Peoria Journal Star. This will be the third special Congressional election in Illinois in the last years. For Peoria elections officials, the special election creates a whole different set of issues in addition to funding. Last year, voters approved a measure to create a countywide election commission, which was supposed to have almost a full year to get up and running before its first election, now they need to scramble. Last year, voters approved a measure to create a countywide election commission, which was supposed to have almost a full year to get up and running before its first election, now they need to scramble.
The creation of the countywide commission was delayed until after the April primaries to avoid confusion but now it’s unclear who will oversee the special election. While special elections have been around almost for as long as elections have, there certainly seem to have been a boom of them lately and according to KQED a review of California’s state election records proves that.
Since 2009 there have been 33 special state and legislative or congressional elections, however that is more than were held in the entire previous decade. And these special elections often bring with them terrible turnout.
In fact, just this week California jurisdictions held three special elections with one race featuring only one candidate. The cost for the one-candidate special election in San Bernardino County is likely to come in between $200,00-$300,000.
Full Article: electionlineWeekly.