Illinois voters will not be allowed to choose who they want to fill the U.S. Senate seat vacated by President Barack Obama, after a Senate subcommittee this week blocked legislation calling for special elections in April and May, according to Senator Tim Bivins.

On March 6, a Senate subcommittee voted along party lines against Senate Bill 285, which would have allowed for a one-time special election to coincide with the consolidated April 7 election and a special general election in May. It also would have ensured all future United States Senate seat vacancies in Illinois would be filled by special election, instead of by gubernatorial appointment.

Senate Republicans have pushed for a special election, noting that the United States Constitution and Illinois election law both affirm that the appointment of Roland Burris is temporary. Recently, Attorney General Lisa Madigan issued an opinion affirming that a special election would be constitutional.

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