ICYMI: Special elections that aren’t so special

vote_3My latest op-ed, title above, appeared in The Virginian-Pilot Thursday.  Prompting the column was yet another special election, this one held this past Tuesday, in which there was but one candidate (officially) on the ballot. It’s bad enough that we hold elections with only one name – and I get that there is always the possibility of a write-in candidate, but when has that happened? – but the timing of them is even worse.

We have elections every year in Virginia. Setting the date of a special election to coincide with the next regularly scheduled election just makes sense to me. Not only would it save money, but it might also help defray the voter fatigue experienced. How much did Tuesday’s election cost us? In these tight economic times, couldn’t that money be put to better use?

Of course, there should be an exception for special circumstances. If an office becomes vacant shortly before or during the legislative session, then a special election should be held. Otherwise, put the election in November.

My column appears in The Virginian-Pilot every week, usually on Thursdays. You can see the columns as they are published here, or navigate to them from the PilotOnline.com homepage by clicking on Opinion and then choosing my name at the bottom of the dropdown list. You can also see the columns by liking my Facebook page. Although my column appears weekly, I am not and have never been an employee of The Virginian-Pilot.



One thought on “ICYMI: Special elections that aren’t so special

  1. I agree especially with the constitutional offers elections. In the aforementioned cases ( in the event of a vacancy) the circuit court judges should elect a constitutional officer to serve to the following November when their is a regular election scheduled in any event. Having elections for Federal, State, municipalities at different times I support as well. Norfolk and Virginia both do this the best way as it gives more time for separate issues to be discussed.

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