Gov. Jay Nixon named Cole County Circuit Court Administrator Marilue Hemmel as the new circuit clerk on Wednesday.
She succeeds Brenda Umstattd, who resigned two weeks ago after a state audit reported problems with accounting controls in the office.
The appointment is for the rest of this year.
Under current law, a special election will be held in November, with voters choosing someone to fill the final two years of Umstattd's term.
However, if a bill going through the Legislature becomes law, the job would become an appointed position, based on a majority vote of the circuit court judges.
Hemmel was a deputy circuit clerk for nine years before being named court administrator in 2004.