Alabama House votes to end special elections for US Senate

The Alabama House of Representatives on Tuesday voted to do away with special elections for the state's two U.S. Senate seats and instead let the governor's appointee serve for up to two years.

Posted: Jan 25, 2018 6:57 AM

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — The Alabama House of Representatives on Tuesday voted to do away with special elections for the state's two U.S. Senate seats and instead let the governor's appointee serve for up to two years.

Instead of calling a special election, the governor's would appoint an interim replacement who would serve in the U.S. Senate until the next statewide general election.

Representatives approved the bill in a 67-31 vote that largely split along party lines. Republicans said it would save the state millions of dollars in special election costs. Democrats said the people should vote on a replacement senator as soon as possible. The bill now moves to the Alabama Senate.

The vote came on the heels of last month's special election to fill the U.S. Senate seat that previously belonged to Attorney General Jeff Sessions. U.S. Sen. Doug Jones defeated Republican Roy Moore to become the first Alabama Democrat elected to the U.S. Senate in more than 20 years.

Republican Rep. Steve Clouse, the bill's sponsor, said the special election cost the state more than $10 million.

"It has nothing to do with any of the personalities in that race. It has everything to do with the cost to the general fund," said Clouse, of Ozark.

Many Democrats opposed the proposal, saying people should vote as soon as possible.

"The Senate seat is entirely too powerful to give the governor the ability to create an incumbent," said Rep. Chris England, D-Tuscaloosa.

Some Democrats suggested the bill was a reaction to Jones' upset victory in a Republican-leaning state.

"I call it the anti-Doug Jones bill," said Rep. John Rogers, D-Birmingham.

Clouse said he proposed the legislation last year before the outcome of the race.

Alabama law is currently unclear on the timing of special elections to fill Senate vacancies. Existing law says if the vacancy occurs more than four months before a general election, the governor of Alabama shall "forthwith order an election" but does not specify a time frame.

Former Gov. Robert Bentley last year appointed Luther Strange to the Senate seat and said the election would take place in 2018. After Bentley resigned, Gov. Kay Ivey said the election would take place within a few months.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 92432

Reported Deaths: 2792
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds6931154
DeSoto535455
Harrison370771
Jackson335867
Madison319086
Rankin316174
Lee256166
Jones237678
Forrest231769
Washington216371
Lafayette205039
Lauderdale1990124
Bolivar177565
Oktibbeha174149
Lamar157733
Neshoba1529103
Panola142426
Sunflower139643
Lowndes138957
Warren137250
Leflore135380
Pontotoc121216
Pike120448
Monroe118265
Scott115925
Copiah115733
Coahoma111227
Holmes108558
Marshall107115
Grenada105035
Lincoln104953
Yazoo103529
Simpson100742
Union97724
Tate95037
Leake93735
Adams90936
Wayne87121
Pearl River85150
Marion83633
Prentiss80317
Covington79622
Alcorn76311
Newton75022
Itawamba74621
Tallahatchie74518
George74013
Winston72019
Tishomingo65336
Chickasaw64124
Attala64025
Tippah63716
Walthall59025
Clay56516
Hancock55720
Noxubee54015
Jasper53815
Clarke53138
Smith51814
Calhoun50612
Tunica47613
Montgomery45320
Claiborne45116
Lawrence42312
Yalobusha41514
Perry39417
Humphreys37215
Quitman3725
Stone34811
Greene33817
Webster32813
Jefferson Davis32311
Amite31110
Carroll31012
Wilkinson30117
Kemper28615
Sharkey26212
Jefferson2379
Benton2181
Franklin1873
Choctaw1775
Issaquena1033
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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 128818

Reported Deaths: 2284
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson18772333
Mobile12975289
Montgomery8598173
Madison742275
Tuscaloosa7081114
Lee560359
Shelby557250
Baldwin503348
Marshall378442
Etowah330645
Calhoun324939
Morgan314226
Houston264422
Elmore249747
DeKalb232619
St. Clair219835
Walker219180
Talladega203426
Limestone194219
Cullman180817
Franklin173428
Dallas173226
Russell16922
Autauga166424
Lauderdale161633
Colbert158126
Escambia155424
Blount152714
Jackson148511
Chilton146327
Covington130327
Dale130043
Coffee12488
Pike11359
Tallapoosa112983
Chambers111742
Clarke104617
Marion92128
Butler90638
Barbour8247
Marengo69619
Winston68712
Lowndes64527
Pickens62814
Bibb61910
Hale61028
Randolph59112
Bullock58514
Lawrence57820
Monroe5738
Geneva5564
Cherokee54816
Washington54513
Perry5366
Clay5317
Wilcox53011
Crenshaw51931
Conecuh51711
Macon46720
Henry4594
Sumter41719
Fayette4159
Choctaw34412
Lamar3372
Cleburne3166
Greene30015
Coosa1603
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