Don’t forget to vote today: the candidates are Democrat Creigh Deeds and Republican Jane Maddux. Voting will take place at your usual polling place, but only for people in the new 25th district; those of you in the old 25th district will remain unrepresented for the next two years.
6 thoughts on “Special Senate Election Today”
Voter turn out 20%
Folks in the “old” 25th but not in the “new” 25th Senate District are not unrepresented. There is no hidden political no-man’s land.
Take Greene County residents as a great example. Most Greene residents were drawn out of Emily Couric’s 25th and drawn into Emmett Hanger’s district. If Emily hadn’t died, this “move” would not have become official until 2004. But she did die, and the state Constitution requires special elections to fall under new district lines.
Nobody is unrepresented.
Nobody is unrepresented, but the residents of the transferred areas have not had the opportunity to participate in the selection of their representative.
OK, here’s mine:
Voter turn out 30%
The representatives themselves have said that they’re unclear on this. Should Emily still be alive, she would be representing the people that voted for her, not for the residents of the new 25th district. The same goes for every other representative in this state; they are representing the people that they were elected by. Next election, in 2004, the shift occurs.
That said, I’m baffled by all of this, and I sure hope that somebody can provide some informed illumination either way. :)
I can’t explain why the representatives themselves are confused by the rules concerning redistricting — the rules are for THEIR benefit.
When re-districting comes around, we really have two options: (1) make the new districts effective immediately and hold new elections on the spot; or (2) let sitting reps keep their seats till the next regularly scheduled election, even if that means the districts change a little at a time (or a lot at a time, in the rare case of a special election to fill a seat vacated by, say, a death).
The first option, many would argue, is the fairest to the voters. The second option is by and large the easiest to manage (and more palatable to sitting officials). I seriously doubt anyone would question the rule at all if not for the inconvenient timing of Emily Couric’s death. (If she had died before redistricting, or if she’d died in time for her seat to be on the November ballot, then the issue of fair representation would never have come up.)
But Emily died when she died, and the rules were applied as reasonably as they could have been.
A third option, some would argue, would have been to leave the district alone till the next election. As I understand it, the state Constitution doesn’t allow for that. ALL elections after the districts are redrawn MUST reflect the new districts.
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