State law provides a process for filling a congressional vacancy. A vacancy which occurs within six months before a primary election will be filled in a special election which is combined with the primary election. When the vacancy becomes effective the Governor will issue a proclamation establishing the Special Congressional Election. It is anticipated that South Dakota will conduct a Special Congressional Election on June 1, 2004.
Following the proclamation of the Special Congressional Election, the Republican and Democrat Party State Central Committees will each be allowed to nominate a candidate to run in the Special Congressional Election. Independent candidates may compete in the election by filing nominating petitions containing 3,346 signatures by April 6.
The candidate who wins the Special Congressional Election will be eligible to take office following the canvass of the election which will be conducted on June 8. That person will serve the remainder of the unexpired term which ends on January 3, 2005.
Candidates wishing to be nominated by their party to compete in the November General Election for the next two year term will file nominating petitions by April 6 to participate in their party's primary election on June 1. This primary election, while conducted at the same time as the Special Congressional Election, is separate from the Special Congressional Election.
The Special Congressional Election will elect a person to complete the current congressional term. The Primary Election will nominate candidates to compete in the November General Election for the next congressional term.