A former New Jersey secretary of state and head of a federal voting commission is urging Gov. Chris Christie to reconsider holding a special election for U.S. Senate 20 days before the Nov. 5 general election.

DeForest Soaries Jr. has written to Christie, saying the principles of democracy are not well served by holding two elections three weeks apart. A copy of the letter was obtained by The Associated Press.

Soaries contends it's cheaper and fairer to voters to hold both statewide elections the same day, when Christie and all 120 legislative seats are on the ballot.

A U.S. Senate race would trump the governor's election at the top of the ticket.

Soaries was a cabinet official under Republican Gov. Christie Whitman and chairman of the bipartisan Election Assistance Commission.