Sen. Seng’s death leaves state senate seat vacant

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DAVENPORT, Iowa (KWQC) – With the passing of state Senator Joe Seng, the 45th state senate district seat is now vacant. He began serving in the Iowa house and then started serving in the Iowa senate in 2003.

Because the Iowa state senate is not in session, the governor has a minimum of forty days to call for an election.

Scott County auditor Roxanna Moritz has already notified the governor’s office of the vacancy.

Moritz says because the general election is only fifty days away, the governor could add the state senate election to the general election ballot.

She hopes the governor chooses instead to opt for a special election.

“The importance of making sure we’re not disenfranchising anybody in the process,” Moritz says.

Ballots for service men and women serving overseas and absentee ballots would have to be completely reprinted. Moritz says that could take up to over a month to do.

She also explains there is no true cost-effective option.

“As far as being fiscally responsible, either way we’re going to have to reprint ballots or have a special election,” she says.

Sen. Seng was not up for reelection this November; his term was until 2018.

This means that either party could benefit from gaining a seat in the state senate.

“The Republicans and the Democrats are looking to retain and gain anywhere they can in the senate seats right now,” she says. “Obviously, this is a seat that they want to retain.”

Scott County Auditor’s office is hoping to hear from the governor’s office sometime tomorrow.

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