Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Illinois voters asked to choose twice for Senate seat

No, Illinois, you're not seeing double.

The Nov. 2 ballot asks for two votes for the U.S. Senate seat vacated by President Barack Obama, another twist of the state's wacky politics.

A judge has determined the same candidates must run for two terms: one being the normal six years beginning in January, the other an interim stint beforehand that probably will last little more than a month.

In both cases, voters will choose from among Democrat Alexi Giannoulias, Republican Mark Kirk, Green LeAlan Jones and Libertarian Mike Labno. Polls show the race extremely close between Giannoulias and Kirk.

Chris Mooney, a political scientist at the University of Illinois at Springfield, said the chances the vote could be split between two candidates - so that one serves the short term and another the full six years - is slim.

But he wouldn't totally rule it out.

"The way it's polling, it's so close, I guess that's possible," Mooney said.

Mooney's comments were featured in an October 26, 2010, article by the Associated Press.

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