Talk about a timely article: Robert Byrd dead at 92

Posted: June 28, 2010 by datechguy in elections
Tags: , ,

When the news came that Sen Byrd was hospitalized this article came out at Five Thirty Eight:

Byrd’s current term expires on January 3, 2013. Under West Virginia state law on handling Senate vacancies, “if the vacancy occurs less than two years and six months before the end of the term, the Governor appoints someone to fill the unexpired term and there is no election”. Otherwise, Manchin would appoint an interim replacement, and an special election would be held in November to determine who held the seat in 2011 and 2012.

In other words, we are within a week of the threshold established by West Virginia law. If a vacancy were to be declared on July 3rd or later, there would not be an election to replace Byrd until 2012. If it were to occur earlier, there could potentially be an election later this year, although there might be some ambiguities arising from precisely when and how the vacancy were declared.

I thought it was a little crass but now that Sen Byrd has actually died it becomes VERY relevant.

It all comes down to when the Governor declares a vacancy. There is no question that the office is vacant but the Democratic Governor likely would rather not have another senate seat voted on in 2010.

As the corner points out such shenanigans are not unheard of in these cases but then again if the Democrats hasn’t tried to pull a fast one here, we might have senator Martha Coakley today.

I presume that the democrat governor will play games. Democrats have proved totally unwilling to consider the will of the people lately so I see no reason why Governor Manchin would do otherwise.

As you might Guess it is big news on Memeorandum.

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