Representative to push for special election change

Representative to push for special election change

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - One representative plans to prefile a bill which would change the timelines of special elections to save money.

Rep. Steve Clouse, R-Ozark, said his new bill would have any special election for a seat, like one in congress, happen during the next general election.

Currently, state law requires a special election to fill a vacancy "forthwith." This law eventually led to the special election for U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions' vacant senate seat to happen this fall.

If a similar situation were to happen under Rep. Clouse's bill, the special election would be held in 2018, at the same time as the normal general elections.

Clouse said he wants to change the process to save money. The state foots the bill for each election.

This year, a primary, a runoff and the general election all to fill Sessions' seat will cost Alabamians $10 million.

Clouse is the house budget chair of the general fund, which has struggled to fund programs like Medicaid in the past.

Clouse said he knows the change to the special election may never be used, but in case Alabama faces another special election soon, he wants the state to save some money.

Former Gov. Robert Bentley initially scheduled the special election for Sessions' seat in November of 2018 for money reasons, before Gov. Kay Ivey changed the dates to this fall.

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