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   [WI] State elections expert testifies on Feingold [Senate vacancies] bill

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3/12/2009 1:25 pm

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Proposed Legislation

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Entered 3/13/2009, Updated 3/13/2009

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WASHINGTON — The cost of special elections to fill Senate vacancies shouldn't keep a state's citizens from choosing who represents them, a former Wisconsin elections chief told a Senate panel Wednesday. Wisconsin has a long history of letting its voters, not the governor, determine who will fill an empty Senate seat, said Kevin Kennedy, director and general counsel for the Wisconsin Government Accountability Board. "It comes at a price, but the conduct of fair, transparent elections provides the foundation for public confidence in their elected officials," Kennedy said. "Elections are the cornerstone of our democracy." Kennedy, a former Wisconsin elections director, was speaking at a joint House-Senate hearing on a constitutional amendment proposed by Sen. Russ Feingold, D-Middleton, to require every state to hold elections to fill Senate vacancies. Rep. James Sensenbrenner, R-Menomonee Falls, is a co-sponsor of a similar House proposal.


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