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 conservation district commission)
- The incumbent for statewide representation holds more than one elected office
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 in the U.S. Senate, ...