Blago Fallout: Orr Urges Swift Action on Special Elections

Cook County, IL–(ENEWSPF)– Cook County Clerk David Orr released the following statement Tuesday, "Due to the unprecedented situation involving the arrest of Gov. Blagojevich, I’m calling on legislative leaders to act swiftly regarding remedies to fill President Elect Obama’s U.S. Senate seat. There are grave financial ramifications; literally tens of millions of dollars hang in the balance for Illinois taxpayers."

According to Orr, special elections will be necessary in 2009, but the cost could be significantly reduced if those elections coincide with the scheduled February primary and April general elections.

If a special Senate election is held independently of the scheduled elections, it would cost about $8 million for suburban Cook County alone. The statewide price tag would be considerably larger – a staggering amount in these difficult economic times.

Altogether, suburban Cook County could need up to three special elections (each with a primary and a general election) at an unbudgeted cost of more than $12 million. The possible special elections include one to replace Rep. Rahm Emanuel, another to fill Obama’s vacant Senate seat, and one to replace a seated Congressman if appointed or elected to the U.S. Senate.

"We have many serious decisions before us and money should be only one consideration. But all actions will have financial consequences for the election authorities and taxpayers throughout the state," Orr said.