Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

Shown Here:
Passed House amended (04/22/2004)

Continuity in Representation Act of 2004 - Amends Federal law concerning the election of Senators and Representatives to require States to hold special elections to fill vacancies in the House of Representatives within 45 days after a vacancy is announced by the Speaker of the House in the extraordinary circumstance that vacancies in representation from the States exceed 100. Waives the 45-day requirement if a regularly scheduled general election for the office involved is to be held at any time within a 75-day period beginning on the date of the vacancy announcement.

Permits the political parties of a State that are authorized to nominate candidates by State law to each nominate one candidate to run in the special election not later than ten days after the Speaker announces that the vacancy exists.

Sets forth requirements for judicial review of any action which is brought for declaratory or injunctive relief to challenge an announcement made under this Act. Requires a final decision in an action to be made within three days of filing of such action. Makes a final decision non-reviewable.

Provides that in conducting a special election under this Act to fill a vacancy in its representation, the State is required to ensure to the greatest extent practicable (including through the use of electronic means) that absentee ballots for election are transmitted to absent uniformed services voters and overseas voters not later than 15 days after the Speaker of the House announces that the vacancy exists. Provides that in the case of an individual who is an absent uniformed services voter or an overseas voter, a State is required to accept and process any otherwise valid ballot or other election material from the voter so long as the ballot or other material is received by the appropriate State election official not later than 45 days after the State transmits the ballot or other material to the voter.

Declares that nothing in these Special Rules in Extraordinary Circumstances may be construed to affect the application to special elections under such Rules of any Federal law governing the administration of elections for Federal office (including any law providing for the enforcement of any such law), including, but not limited to: (1) the Voting Rights Act of 1965, as amended; (2) the Voting Accessibility for the Elderly and Handicapped Act, as amended; (3) the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act, as amended; (4) the National Voter Registration Act of 1993, as amended; (5) the Americans With Disabilities Act of 1990, as amended; (6) the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended; and (7) the Help America Vote Act of 2002, as amended.