My wife and I both serve as poll workers, and I've seen my share of special elections. Most of them are poorly attended, but occasionally there will be a controversial local issue that brings more people out to the polls. One year our city held a special election to replace a popular sheriff, and the voters weren't happy with the man the county wanted in that position. They mostly came out to vote "no", even though he was the only viable name on the special election ballot.
Considering how expensive it can be to hold a special election, I'd think the people in charge would hold off until the regular general elections in November. Apparently that's not the way the election laws read, however. Some temporary positions can't be appointed. Voters must be given the opportunity to voice their opinions with a vote.