Raleigh, N.C. — Voters in the 12th Congressional District will vote in a special election to fill the seat this year but will not have to make a special trip to the polls.
Democratic Congressman Mel Watt resigned Monday and was sworn is as director of the Federal Housing Financial Agency, which regulates the home loan industry in the U.S.
Watt's departure from Congress triggers a special election. It was possible that voters would have gone to the polls earlier than the regular election dates in order to choose Watt's replacement, but holding special elections separate from this year's scheduled mid-term elections would have cost more than $1 million, McCrory said, while getting a replacement into office only two months sooner.
McCrory also worried that a series of special elections intermingled with regular elections would be "too complex" for voters to keep track of.
Instead of multiple trips to the polls, voters will vote twice for the same seat. They will cast one vote for the special election to fill the remainder of Watt's term, and another vote to fill the seat for the full two-year term that begins in 2015.
This year's primaries will be held on May 6, with a primary runoff on July 15 if needed. The General Election will be Nov. 4.