This year there is the real likely hood that one or more candidates that could be nominated could be indicted, discredited, or simply prove themselves unfit to hold the office of POTUS.

Is there anything in the GOP or Democrat rules and bylaws that allows for a candidate that has been nominated to be recalled? After the nomination is the ballot set in stone, or is there an established process for changing the nominee post-convention? Has it ever happened in the past?


1 Answer 1


You would need to study the election laws and rules governing the 50 states and District of Colombia which designate electors to the electoral college. There isn't a single federal ballot, but 51 separate ones, each with their own processes and calendar.

It appears that Horace Greeley, the losing Democratic candidate in 1872 actually died between the election and the voting of the electoral college, making things awkward by failing one of the implicit constitutional requirements for the presidency (namely being alive).

  • I am hoping someone understands enough of these laws to answer this question. Most of those laws will be very similar is my expectation though I could be wrong. But this is more comment than answer. Mar 18, 2016 at 20:18
  • I'm not at all sure that they are, at least the possibility of write-in candidates in a federal election (one obvious possible solution) varies greatly, q.v. bloomberg.com/news/articles/2004-11-01/…
    – origimbo
    Mar 18, 2016 at 20:22
  • I am not concerned about write ins just if the parties have any established procedures for recalling a candidate before an election. Mar 18, 2016 at 21:34
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    I don't think this is actually relevant to the question. You're discussing the electoral college, which applies to the national vote and is defined by the Constitution and relevant laws. The question is about a party nominee, which is entirely governed by the party's respective rules (or possibly the states', but after they've sent their delegates to the convention, I don't think so). It's a good answer, just to the wrong question.
    – Bobson
    Mar 18, 2016 at 22:45
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    @origimbo - That's valid. It also has nothing to do with the answer you posted, which is specifically about the electoral college. Generally, it also only affects delegates to the national convention for the party - once the convention votes, that's probably the end of per-state involvement. Both the answer and your comment are good answers, but they're not relevant to this question. "Is there anything in the GOP or Democrat rules and bylaws that allows for a candidate that has been nominated to be recalled?" (emphasis mine)
    – Bobson
    Apr 17, 2016 at 22:52

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