What happens if a presidential candidate dies or is ill before an election?

THE U.S. has had quite a bit of experience with the death of presidents, with eight dying in office.

From William Henry Harrison in 1841 to John F. Kennedy in 1963, but what happens if a president candidate dies before an election?

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What happens if a presidentialcandidate dies before an election? 

If a US candidate running for president dies between the popular vote and the meeting of the Electoral College – the body which is formed every four years for electing the president and vice president of the United States – the parties will try to replace the candidate.

If the candidate that dies is on the winning presidential ticket, it's still the party's responsibility to provide a new candidate who the electorate could vote into office.

The replacement candidate's name would go on the Electoral College ballot only, and their political party would expect its voters to vote that candidate into office.

There's no federal law, however, saying electors have to vote for the replacement candidate.

What happens if a candidate for president is ill before an election?

If a presidential candidate has to withdraw before an election, the party would try to replace that nominee.

In the Democrats, for example, there is a committee called the Democratic National Committee which is given the power to replace a party’s nominee.

That nominee would then have to get on the ballot to represent the party in the presidential election.

The rules for doing this vary in different states – for instance, how much time before an election you must act if you want to replace a nominee.

Has a presidential candidate ever died before an election?

No presidential candidate from a major party has ever died or withdrawn before a presidential election and no president-elect has ever died or withdrawn before taking office.

One vice-presidential candidate, however, died just days before the presidential election in 1912.

Candidate James Sherman died in late October that year and was not replaced on the presidential ticket.

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