Three special elections are being held today to fill vacancies in the Legislature – A Senate seat and a House seat that were held by Republicans and a House seat held by a Democrat. Jack Cardetti with the State Democratic Party sees an opportunity for gains because of what he views as discontent with the Blunt Administrtion and the Republican-controlled Legislature. John Hancock with the State Republican Party disagrees with this referendum scenario, saying local issues dominate in local races. Voters in a southwest Missouri Senate district are going to the polls to elect a successor to Senator Larry Gene Taylor, who died in office. A vacancy in a St. Louis County House seat was created by the death of Representative Richard Byrd. An opening in a central Missouri House district came about as a result of the election of then-Representative Frank Barnitz to the Senate. Democrats and Republicans say turnout will be crucial.