I believe the law says when a vacancy is “declared”, not when the vacancy actually occurs.
Yes, the vacancy OCCURED earlier this week, but Manchin is soooo busy trying to comfort the widow Byrd, he won’t get around to actually DECLARING the vacancy until after the July 3 date.
If I’m wrong, someone correct me—but I believe that is the version the ‘rats are using to avoid an election in November.
I haven't figured out how that works because Ohio usually has scheduled elections every November and May (or maybe March in presidential election years to get the primary in early) of every year, along with occasional special elections (usually to sneak through a school tax levy) in August. It doesn't take two years to find a normally scheduled election or even schedule a special election.
That would be the plain, common sense interpretation of the law by all reasonable standards. The dems, however, do not feel constrained by reason or common sense. They will, like the Red Queen, define the law to say whatever they want it to mean. The only issue now is if Republicans will let them get away with it.
Per the National Journal, here’s how it works:
The governor appoints a successor, but because there is more than 2 1/2 years remaining on the term, there must be a special election. The governor’s appointment is only valid until the special election.
But WV law requires that any candidates for the special election be chosen in a primary election. WV’s primary occurred in May. The next primary election is in 2012. Thus, in November 2012, there will be two elections: a general election for the six year term, and a special election to fill the last few weeks of Byrd’s term.