Friday, February 27, 2009

Representative Julie Hamos (D)18th District

Dear Randy,
Your response to last Friday's survey on whether we should hold special elections for open U.S. Senate seats was strong. During the week the survey was open 1,417 people responded to the question and 821 of you provided clear, interesting ideas on how we should address this issue.
Once again, I am impressed how much Illinois voters not only care about good government, but also that so many of you take the time to provide thoughtful feedback. I read every last message and share the results with my legislative colleagues.
Here's how you answered the survey:
If there is a vacancy for the U.S. Senate what should Illinois do?

838 We should have a special election.
395 We should NOT have a special election.
182 We should not change our Illinois law and should wait for the proposed change to the U.S. Constitution
for consistency in all states.

Your personal responses were also very helpful. Many of you expressed deep concern with the cost of a special election - potentially as much as $50 million. But overall most of you told me that future vacancies should be filled by the will of the voters.
Looking towards the future, I am listening to you and I agree that we should ensure that any future U.S. Senator from Illinois should be selected by the voters. The only way to guarantee that is to conduct a special election if there is a vacancy. On Thursday I introduced legislation in Springfield, HB 3793, that amends the election code by requiring a special election within 120 days of a vacancy, allowing a Governor to make a temporary appointment only until the election is held.
Last week Governor Quinn expressed support for this idea and within a day of introducing the bill I have signed on eight co-sponsors. You can learn more about the bill, including a summary, by clicking here. I will be sure to keep you up-to-date as this legislation moves forward.
Thank you again for your thoughts and responses on this issue. If you were forwarded this message, or you're not sure you're not on my list, please complete this form. And, because I would like to get as much input as possible, please pass the word along about my updates.
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Democrat Elected Officials

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