(AP) -West Virginia's attorney general says Gov. Joe Manchin can put the late Robert C. Byrd's Senate seat on the ballot this November.
Manchin requested a legal opinion from Attorney General Darrell McGraw, who issued it Thursday.
Manchin says he doesn't want voters to wait until 2012, when Byrd would have faced re-election.
The iconic Democrat died last week after more than a half-century in the Senate. The 92-year-old had just over 30 months left in his term.
Manchin may now call a special legislative session to settle details such as candidate filing and party nomination deadlines.
Manchin will appoint someone to fill the vacancy in the meantime. The Democrat says he may run for Byrd's seat, but won't have himself appointed.