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GAB head tells Congress he's in favor of special elections

The head of Wisconsin's elections agency testified Wednesday in favor of holding special voting to fill vacant U.S. Senate seats.

Kevin Kennedy told a Senate panel it costs about $3 million to hold a special election in the Badger State.

But he called it an "investment in democracy," and said the added public confidence makes the process worth it.

Feingold said he had nothing against the new senators who have been appointed by various governors since the last election. But he said the prospect of corruption emerged when Illinois' former leader was indicted for allegedly selling his state's open Senate seat to the highest bidder.

Wisconsin is one of just five states in which the voters fill vacant Senate seats. U.S. Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner, R-Wis., of Memonee Falls, proposed the Feingold amendment in his chamber and lawmakers from both parties joined watchdogs in supporting it Thursday.

Matthew Spaulding of the Heritage Foundation said a complex constitutional change is not necessary.

There's been a proposal to do it legislatively by allowing appointments and then putting those people up for election in 90 days.