Senate Reform Bills Call For Special Elections To Fill Vacancies In Statewide Offices

Joseph E. Robach

February 13, 2007

Statewide special elections would be held to fill vacancies in the offices of State Comptroller and Attorney General under two reform bills introduced today in the New York State Senate.

"There is no purer form of democracy than letting the people decide who should serve as their elected representatives in state government," said Senator Joe Robach. "As part of the Senate Majority’s ongoing efforts for meaningful government reform, this is just another logical step in the right direction. This legislation gives the power back to the people, where it belongs and provides our citizens with a more direct and effective voice in their state government."

The legislation includes a Constitutional Amendment (S.2724) to reform the process by requiring a special election to replace a Comptroller or Attorney General who resigns or is removed from office, and a companion bill (S.2727) that would set the time frame for a special election to be held 45 to 60 days after being proclaimed by the Governor.

The State Constitution requires a vacancy in the office of the State Comptroller or the Attorney General be filled by a majority vote of both Houses of the Legislature, if the Legislature is in session when the vacancy occurs.