Gov. Jay Nixon will set June 4, 2013, as the date for a special election to fill the vacant seat in the Eighth Congressional District in southeast Missouri. The Governor today received a letter from Congresswoman Jo Ann Emerson informing him that her resignation from the seat would be effective at 11:59 p.m. today.
While state law provides that the notice of election has to be submitted to local election authorities no later than 10 weeks prior to the election, this notice does not take into account the provisions of the Military and Overseas Voter Empowerment (MOVE) Act as it pertains to federal elections. In 2009, the MOVE Act became federal law as a means to help American military members serving overseas and citizens living abroad to vote in U.S. elections, and was subsequently codified into Missouri law under Chapter 115, RSMo.
Under the MOVE Act and state law, the deadline for military ballots to be printed and made available, and for local election authorities to begin transmitting those ballots to military and overseas voters, is 45 days before a general, primary or special election for federal office. The deadline for candidates to file is no later than 5 p.m. on the day that is the midpoint between the date when the election is called and election day. Independent candidates also must submit their petitions by this midway point. Local election authorities then have at least 10 days but no more than 40 days to process those independent candidate petitions.
The Governor will officially set the June 4 special election on Wednesday (Jan. 23).