Federal Elections Commission
There will be a “special election” in New Jersey on October 16 to fill the Senate seat left empty at the death of Senator Frank Lautenberg (D). Other states are holding special elections during this off-election year: Alabama, Illinois, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Missouri and South Carolina are electing House Reps; but Massachusetts and New Jersey are the only states with special elections for Senators.
Is NJ’s Senate seat really empty?
No: New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie appointed state Attorney General Jeff Chiesa to be the interim U.S. senator; read about it in USA Today:
Want the latest poll data for New Jersey’s “special election?” Quinnapiac follows this race, as well as the upcoming 2016 elections:
Who decides how special elections take place?
“… individual states carry out the electoral process by following their own state laws. Sections 2 and 4 of Article I of the U.S. Constitution provide states the right to choose their own Representatives and Senators for the United States Congress. The 17th Amendment, however, mandates that the people directly elect the senators, and explicitly bars state legislatures from choosing the state’s U.S. Senators.” More about the election process at the Legal Information Institute, Cornell University Law School:
A Guide to U.S. Elections
For more detailed explanation of special elections, try this book: volume 2, page 1284.
Ref JK1976.G85 2005
Want to follow all the special elections this year? In Lexis/Nexis type in “special election” AND “new jersey” for a variety of news stories and editorials on New Jersey’s upcoming election.
* Warning: browsing reference books can be revolutionary!