The first of these two provisions governs “vacancies in the United States senate.” It provides that If a vacancy shall happen in the representation of this State in the United States senate, it shall be filled at the general election next succeeding the happening thereof, unless such vacancy shall happen within 70 days next preceding such election, in which case it shall be filled by election at the second succeeding general election, unless the governor of this State shall deem it advisable to call a special election therefor, which he is authorized hereby to do. The governor of this State may make a temporary appointment of a senator of the United States from this State whenever a vacancy shall occur by reason of any cause other than the expiration of the term; and such appointee shall serve as such senator until a special election or general election shall have been held pursuant to law and the Board of State Canvassers can deliver to his successor a certificate of election. The next general election in New Jersey will take place on November 5, 2013, when Christie himself will stand for reelection. Because today is more than 70 days from November 5, this means that Christie’s appointee to the United States Senate shall serve until he is replaced in an election to be held the same time as Christie’s own election. But, wait! There’s another, entirely separate provision of New Jersey law that says something different. That provision governs “Congressional vacancies” and it provides that If the vacancy happens in the representation of this State in the United States Senate the election shall take place at the general election next succeeding the happening thereof, unless the vacancy shall happen within 70 days next preceding the primary election prior to the general election, in which case it shall be filled by election at the second succeeding election, unless the Governor shall deem it advisable to call a special election therefor, which he is authorized hereby to do.
New Jersey's state laws regarding special elections is in conflict with...New Jersey state law. thkpr.gs/11moPaBThanks to a drafting error in an elections bill passed in 2011, however, the length of that temporary senator’s time in office is entirely uncertain.
— ThinkProgress (@thinkprogress) June 3, 2013