I did some digging, and this is what I found.
If the candidate dies before the general election, the party's national committee votes on a new candidate in much the same manner as the convention, but without all the fanfare. IOW, there would be a representative from each state with the same number of votes as his state had delegates to the convention. Hopefully, ballots for the general election have not already been printed, or the new candidate's name may not appear on the ballot.
If the candidate dies after the election, but before the Electoral College, electors committed to that candidate are free to elect someone else.
If the candidate dies after the electoral college, but before the inauguration, the VP elect becomes the president elect according to the 20th amendment to the Constitution.
I'm going to assume that you are referring to the 2008 United States Presidential election (as this occurance has happened several times before in U.S. History). For this election, unsuccessful Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton became Barack Obama's Secretary of State. Source: Informed U.S. citizen and voter *android*
In the U.S. presidential election of 1872, Horace Greeley, the Democratic Party Presidential Nominee, died 24 days after the casting of the popular votes and 17 days before the casting of the electoral votes. If he had survived the election, based on the November election results, even with 100% of the votes from each of the states he won he would have gotten a total of only 18.7% of the votes.
If a parliamentary candidate dies after close of nominations, then the poll is cancelled and there would be a re-run. It happened in the 2005 elections in Staffordshire South when the Liberal Democrat candidate died during the campaign, there was a re-run on the 23rd June and the sitting Conservative MP was returned.
Yes, and it has happened before. In the 1972 presidential election, Democratic candidate George McGovern had chosen Misssouri Senator Thomas Eagleton as his running mate for vice-president. During the campaign it was learned that Eagleton had undergone electric shock thereapy and had been hospitalized for mental conditions. McGovern, initially supportive of Eagleton, later agreed that he should not remain as the vice-presidential candidate because of these issues. Eagleton dropped out and McGovern changed his vice-presidentail running mate to R. Sargent Shriver.
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