Special elections to fill nine vacancies in the legislature will be held on Feb. 22 and major parties will have until Jan. 18 to endorse their candidates, according to a Friday press release from Secretary of the State Denise Merrill.

Special elections will take place in Senate district 6, covering Berlin, New Britain, and part of Farmington; district 13, covering Meriden, Middlefield, and parts of Cheshire and Middletown; and district 27, covering parts of Darien and Stamford.

Special elections for vacant House of Representative seats will take place in district 20 covering part of West Hartford, district 25, covering part of New Britain, district 36, covering the towns of Chester, Deep River, Essex and Haddam, district 99, covering part of East Haven, district 101, covering the town of Madison and part of Guilford, and District 126, covering part of Bridgeport.

Polls in the applicable towns will be open from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m.

“We have a sea change in state government with a significant number of state lawmakers leaving the legislative branch to serve the Malloy administration,” Merrill said in a prepared statement. “The timetable for these special elections is very compressed: major parties now have until January 18th to endorse candidates for these state Senate and House seats.  Petitioning candidates must also turn in nominating petitions to town clerks offices or the Secretary of the State’s office by that same day.  I urge eligible voters in these districts to register as soon as possible so you can cast a ballot and choose someone to represent you in Hartford.  The deadline to register is Monday February 21st, the day before the special elections.”

The vacancies were left by the departure of the following Democratic lawmakers:

-Sen. Andrew MacDonald of Stamford, who became Malloy’s chief legal counsel.

-Sen. Don DeFronzo of New Britain, who became the head the Department of Administrative Services.

-Sen. Thomas Gaffey of Meriden, who was convicted of larceny charges and resigned.

-Rep. John Geragosian of New Britain, who was appointed an Auditor of Public Accounts.

-Rep. David McCluskey of West Hartford, who was tapped by Malloy to serve on the Board of Pardons and Parole.

-Rep. James Spallone of Essex, who became the Deputy Secretary of the State.

-Rep. Deb Heinrich of Madison, who was appointed to a new cabinet-level position within his administration where she will advocate on behalf of nonprofit providers.

-Rep. Mike Lawlor of East Haven, who was hired by Office of Policy and Management Secretary Ben Barnes as undersecretary for Criminal Justice Policy and Planning.

-Rep. Christopher Caruso of Bridgeport, who was appointed to a position in the Department of Economic and Community Development.