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Giant Baby
07-02-2010, 09:07 PM
If a polititian is running for the US Senate, and dies just before the election, what happens? Can his/her (his, in this case) camp still run him and appoint someone else to fill his role if he wins? Is there anything they can do to stay in the race?

PeterL
07-02-2010, 09:20 PM
His party could nominate a new candidate, but if the death happened on the day before the election that wouldn't work. The election would continue, and the living candidate with the most votes would be elected.

Giant Baby
07-02-2010, 09:29 PM
Thanks! Any idea how much time would be needed? I need to off a candidate, and I'm hoping for as tight a time frame as possible to keep the story moving.

Unfortunately, I'm pretty ignorant about these things, and googling has helped not at all.

PeterL
07-02-2010, 09:47 PM
Thanks! Any idea how much time would be needed? I need to off a candidate, and I'm hoping for as tight a time frame as possible to keep the story moving.


How long for what? How much time for a party to put up another candidate? I don't know, and it might not make any difference. It depends on where the election was taking place. In some places people vote for the party rather than the person, so it wouldn't make any difference whether someone died. In other places there would have to be two months lead time for a new election or for the party to put up another candidate.

If you just want to knock off a candidate, then anytime before the election results were declared final would do.

StephanieFox
07-02-2010, 09:51 PM
When Minnesota Senator Paul Wellstone was killed about two weeks before the election, the party scrambled to come up with a new candidate. They chose former Senator Fritz Mondale. Mondale was well loved and well respected but many people were concerned that he was too old and he lost the election.

http://www.haaretz.com/news/mondale-expected-to-replace-minnesota-s-wellstone-1.30142

But what happened in Missouri is even more interesting. John Ashcroft ran in an election against a dead man. Lt. Gov. Roger Wilson moved up to succeed Carnahan and appointed Carnahan's widow, Jean, to the Senate seat after the election. Even tho' the death of his opponant was in mid-October, there wasn't time to replace him on the ballot in Missouri.

http://archives.cnn.com/2000/ALLPOLITICS/stories/11/07/senate.missouri/


The moral of the story is that a lot of different things can happen in politics and what happens depends a lot on the state. Each state has differing rules. Also, consider that whatever the rules, the opposition will probably challange them in court.

suki
07-02-2010, 09:54 PM
It's goverened by state law, and in some (most?) states, once the ballots are printed, they cannot be changed. So, in some instances, the dead candidate could be elected, and then the Governor could appoint someone to serve in his or her place until a special election could be held.

~suki

Giant Baby
07-02-2010, 10:04 PM
Hmm. Yeah, I need to elect someone in his place. Sorry, I'm not giving enough information. The candidate is disasterously stupid, but is a popular figure around Boston and has a very effective puppet master. After an embarassing incident makes it clear there's no way for the former front runner to win the election, the puppet master offs him and turns the incident into a story that turns public support back toward the now-dead candidate (it's believed the candidate died of an acute illness). What I really want to do is run the puppet master, who has a long history in Massachusetts politics himself (but never as a candidate or elected official), in his place.

If that strains credibility, I could allign the villain with the next candidate. It'd be less fun, though.

Giant Baby
07-02-2010, 10:05 PM
Oh wow! Several replies while I was typing. So helpful. Thanks!

mgoblue101415
07-02-2010, 10:14 PM
Yes, they can stay in the race.

Back in 2000 the dem senate candidate, Carnahan, died in a plane crash three weeks before the election. His wife campaigned in his spot and he won. The gov appointed her senator. She held the seat until there was a special election in 2002.

There was also the case in Tenn where the candidate was killed by the opposing candidate two weeks before the election. Both men stayed on the ballot but the wife of the guy who was killed won as a write in candidate.


As for how close to the election... Different states have different time frames. Tenn allowed both candidates to stay on a couple weeks before the election but I know in Minnesota when Wellstone died 11 days before the election that Minn law had Wellstone removed from the ballot and the party had to pick another candidate.


So, I guess it would depend on what state your story is taking place in. If it was the day before the election... There would be no way to remove the candidate's name from the ballot, as they'd already be made out. They could possibly postpone the election, although that would be a last case scenario. If the deceased won, it would probably be a state thing, but I would think in most cases that the Gov of the state would appoint someone to the seat until a special election could be held. Or just not have anyone fill the seat and just wait for a special election.

PeterL
07-02-2010, 10:22 PM
Hmm. Yeah, I need to elect someone in his place. Sorry, I'm not giving enough information. The candidate is disasterously stupid, but is a popular figure around Boston and has a very effective puppet master. After an embarassing incident makes it clear there's no way for the former front runner to win the election, the puppet master offs him and turns the incident into a story that turns public support back toward the now-dead candidate (it's believed the candidate died of an acute illness). What I really want to do is run the puppet master, who has a long history in Massachusetts politics himself (but never as a candidate or elected official), in his place.

If that strains credibility, I could allign the villain with the next candidate. It'd be less fun, though.

That does not strain credulity.

If you want the puppet master to run, then the murder would have to happen by some time in September,at least in Massachusetts. You might want to contact the Secretary of State's office and ask them. The date when the ballot is closed for changes is some number of day before the election, and they could tell you. If you live in Massachusetts, then you could also try calling your Town Clerk, because they also have to deal with those deadlines.
The votes for a dead candidate wouldn't count for anything.

Giant Baby
07-02-2010, 11:15 PM
Thank you all!


That does not strain credulity.

If you want the puppet master to run, then the murder would have to happen by some time in September,at least in Massachusetts. You might want to contact the Secretary of State's office and ask them. The date when the ballot is closed for changes is some number of day before the election, and they could tell you. If you live in Massachusetts, then you could also try calling your Town Clerk, because they also have to deal with those deadlines.
The votes for a dead candidate wouldn't count for anything.

These are a very good ideas. Thanks for the direction!

Haggis
07-02-2010, 11:17 PM
What happens if a Senate candidate dies?

He still goes to Hell anyhow?:Shrug:

StephanieFox
07-03-2010, 12:57 AM
You might want to contact the Secretary of State's office and ask them. The date when the ballot is closed for changes is some number of day before the election, and they could tell you. If you live in Massachusetts, then you could also try calling your Town Clerk, because they also have to deal with those deadlines.

Yes, but be careful how you ask because in some places, especially with Homeland Security and all, this could be seen as a death threat and the Secret Service might end up at your door.

Giant Baby
07-03-2010, 02:39 AM
Yes, but be careful how you ask because in some places, especially with Homeland Security and all, this could be seen as a death threat and the Secret Service might end up at your door.

I'm with you on that. I often wonder how many lists I'm already on due to my googling.

mgoblue101415
07-03-2010, 03:07 AM
I'm with you on that. I often wonder how many lists I'm already on due to my googling.


I'm right there with you. Back in the mid 90's I was doing research for a book and couldn't find the answer I needed in any book I read (long before wiki and google). I ended up emailing the White House and asked them what happened if the president elect died.

Never got an answer from them but I've often wondered if my name got put into a nice little file. Maybe I'll find out when I finish my degree and apply for a job with an intelligence or security agency. :o

RJK
07-03-2010, 06:25 AM
I would contact somebody at the Massachusetts Election Division (http://www.sec.state.ma.us/ele/eleidx.htm). They can tell you the exact rules.

PeterL
07-03-2010, 05:48 PM
Yes, but be careful how you ask because in some places, especially with Homeland Security and all, this could be seen as a death threat and the Secret Service might end up at your door.

That's why I wouldn't suggest calling "homeland" paranoia. Isn't it nice that the government created a department for paranoids?

johnnysannie
07-03-2010, 06:56 PM
Yes, they can stay in the race.

Back in 2000 the dem senate candidate, Carnahan, died in a plane crash three weeks before the election. His wife campaigned in his spot and he won. The gov appointed her senator. She held the seat until there was a special election in 2002.

.

Beat me to that one; that was the example I was going to post! Good job!

mtrenteseau
07-03-2010, 11:07 PM
This applies to state, city, and county positions, but as the Senate elections are governed by state laws, it might be what you need:

http://www.mass.gov/legis/laws/mgl/53-14.htm

Giant Baby
07-05-2010, 09:21 PM
Awesome links! Thank you all so much!

Rabe
07-06-2010, 08:05 AM
His party could nominate a new candidate, but if the death happened on the day before the election that wouldn't work. The election would continue, and the living candidate with the most votes would be elected.

Uhm...ask John Ashcroft how untrue that is. He lost to a dead guy.

Depends on the jurisdiction and what the state laws are. However, if the candidate died after being placed on the ballot but before the election - and receives the most votes - then someone in the party does get appointed for him. Usually.

If he isn't on the ballot by that time - nothing happens. Doesn't get the majority of votes - nothing happens.

But you should probably try checking with your local area on what happens if he does get on the ballot AND gets elected.

Rabe...

PeterL
07-06-2010, 04:30 PM
Uhm...ask John Ashcroft how untrue that is. He lost to a dead guy.

Depends on the jurisdiction and what the state laws are. However, if the candidate died after being placed on the ballot but before the election - and receives the most votes - then someone in the party does get appointed for him. Usually.

If he isn't on the ballot by that time - nothing happens. Doesn't get the majority of votes - nothing happens.

But you should probably try checking with your local area on what happens if he does get on the ballot AND gets elected.

Rabe...

It depends on the state.

LaurenEMorrill
07-15-2010, 06:35 PM
Is anyone else thinking of that episode of West Wing (I think it was in season 4) when Will Bailey ran the California race where the guy died ... and then got him elected?