Salem Rep. Jason Smith has filed legislation that calls for special elections when filling a vacancy for any statewide office.
Right now, the law only requires an election when a vacancy occurs for Lieutenant Governor. In the event of other vacancies, current law states the Governor chooses the replacement by appointment.
HB681 would require an election --- rather an appointment by the Governor --- for the offices of Secretary of State, Attorney General, State Auditor and State Treasurer.
*The next potential vacancy that may arise is if Secretary of State Robin Carnahan wins the 2010 U.S. Senate race. Right now, if her candidacy is successful, Governor Jay Nixon would pick her replacement.*
In a release, Smith said his legislation would "ensure the people of Missouri have a stronger voice when filling a vacancy for any statewide office." "It makes little sense that vacancies for some offices would be filled by a special election while others would be filled by appointment,” said Rep. Smith. "Our statewide office holders should be approved by a majority of voters regardless of the circumstances involved."
Smith's bill has not yet been assigned to committee.