Des Moines

Vacancy of Elected Officials Overview

The officer/entity responsible for filling a vacancy will also be entrusted with the duty to determine when a vacancy exists. They may deem an office vacant based on their motion or based on a public petition initiative. A hearing must be held before a final decision can be issued. The Iowa Code describes a vacancy as any of the following:

  • Failure to elect or appoint an officer within the time fixed by law
  • Incumbent fails to meet the qualifying criteria of the office
  • Incumbent is no longer residing in the represented area (excludes appointed city officers)
  • Death, resignation, or removal of incumbent official
  • Incumbent is convicted of a felony or any public offense which violates the oath of office
  • Absence of county officers for sixty consecutive days (except for medical, military, or governmental reasons)
  • The incumbent simultaneously holds more than one elective office at the same level of government (excludes county agricultural extension council and soil and water conservation district commission)
  • The incumbent for statewide representation holds more than one elected office

U.S. Congress

When there is a vacancy in the U.S. House of Representatives, the U.S. Constitution sets forth the procedure to fill the vacancy by election. Once a vacancy occurs, the state may choose to fill the vacancy by holding a special election, if it would be practicable to do so (i.e. the next general election is still a significant amount of time away).

If there is a vacancy...