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General Norms » Ecclesiastical Offices » Provision of Ecclesiastical Office » Election
Canon 164. Unless it has been otherwise provided in the law, the provisions of the following canons are to be observed in canonical elections.
Canon 165. Unless it is otherwise provided in the law or in the statutes of the college or group, if a college or a group of persons enjoys the right to elect to an office, the election is not to be deferred beyond three canonical months, to be reckoned from the receipt of notification of the vacancy of the office. If the election does not take place within that time, the ecclesiastical authority who has the right of confirming the election or the right to make provision otherwise, is freely to provide for the vacant office.
Canon 166. §1 The one who presides over the college or group is to summon all those who belong to the college or group. When it has to be personal, the summons is valid if it is made in the place of domicile or quasi-domicile or in the place of residence.

§2 If someone who should have been summoned was overlooked and was therefore absent, the election is valid. However, if that person insists and gives proof of being overlooked and of absence, the election, even if confirmed, must be rescinded by the competent authority, provided it is juridically established that the recourse was submitted within no more than three days of having received notification of the election.

§3 If more than one third of the voters were overlooked, the election is invalid by virtue of the law itself, unless all those overlooked were in fact present.
Canon 167. §1 When the summons has been lawfully made, those who are present on the day and in the place specified in the summons have the right to vote. Unless it is otherwise lawfully provided in the statutes, votes cast by letter or by proxy cannot be admitted.

§2 If an elector is present in the building in which the election is being held, but because of infirmity is unable to be present at the election, a written vote is to be sought from that person by the scrutineers.
Canon 168. Even if someone has a right to vote in his or her own name by reason of a number of titles, that person may cast only one vote.
Canon 169. In order that an election be valid, no one may be allowed to vote who does not belong to the college or group.
Canon 170. If the freedom of an election has in any way been in fact impeded, the election is invalid by virtue of the law itself.
Canon 171. §1 The following are legally incapable of casting a vote:

1° one incapable of a human act;

2° one lacking active voice;

3° one who is excommunicated, whether by judgement of a court or by a decree whereby this penalty is imposed or declared;

4° one who notoriously defected from communion with the Church.

§2 If any of the above persons is admitted, the vote cast is invalid. The election, however, is valid, unless it is established that, without this vote, the person elected would not have gained the requisite number of votes.
Canon 172. §1 For a vote to be valid, it must be:

1° free; a vote is therefore invalid if, through grave fear or deceit, someone was directly or indirectly made to choose a certain person or several persons separately;

2° secret, certain, absolute and determinate.

§2 Conditions attached to a vote before an election are to be considered non-existent.
Canon 173. §1 Before an election begins, at least two scrutineers are to be appointed from among the college or group.

§2 The scrutineers are to collect the votes and, in the presence of the one who presides at the election, to check whether the number of votes corresponds to the number of electors; they are then to examine the votes and to announce how many each person has received.

§3 If the number of votes exceeds the number of electors, the act is null.

§4 All the proceedings of an election are to be accurately recorded by the one who acts as notary. They are to be signed at least by that notary, by the person who presides and by the scrutineers, and they are to be carefully preserved in the archive of the college.
Canon 174. §1 Unless the law or the statutes provide otherwise, an election can be made by compromise, that is the electors by unanimous and written consent transfer the right of election for this occasion to one or more suitable persons, whether they belong to the college or are outside it, who in virtue of this authority are to elect in the name of all.

§2 If the college or group consists solely of clerics, the persons to whom the power of election is transferred must be in sacred orders; otherwise the election is invalid.

§3 Those to whom the power of election is transferred must observe the provisions of law concerning an election and, for the validity of the election, they must observe the conditions attached to the compromise, unless these conditions are contrary to the law. Conditions which are contrary to the law are to be regarded as non-existent.
Canon 175. A compromise ceases, and the right to vote reverts to those who transferred it, when:

1° it is revoked by the college or group before it has been put into effect;

2° a condition attached to the compromise has not been fulfilled;

3° the election has been held, but invalidly.
Canon 176. Unless it is otherwise provided in the law or the statutes, the person who has received the requisite number of votes in accordance with can. 119, n. 1, is deemed elected and is to be proclaimed by the person who presides over the college or group.
Canon 177. §1 The election is to be notified immediately to the person elected who must, within eight canonical days from the receipt of notification of the election, intimate to the person who presides over the college or group whether or not he or she accepts the election; otherwise, the election has no effect.

§2 The person elected who has not accepted loses every right deriving from the election, nor is any right revived by subsequent acceptance; the person may, however, be elected again. The college or group must proceed to a new election within a month of being notified of non-acceptance.
Canon 178. If the election does not require confirmation, by accepting the election the person elected immediately obtains the office with all its rights; otherwise, he or she acquires only a right to the office.
Canon 179. §1 If the election requires confirmation, the person elected must, either personally or through another, ask for confirmation by the competent authority within eight canonical days of acceptance of the office- otherwise that person is deprived of every right, unless he or she has established that there was just reason which prevented confirmation being sought.

§2 The competent authority cannot refuse confirmation if he has found the person elected suitable in accordance with can. 149 §1, and the election has been carried out in accordance with the law.

§3 Confirmation must be given in writing.

§4 Before receiving notice of the confirmation, the person elected may not become involved in the administration of the office, neither in spiritual nor in material affairs; any acts possibly performed by that person are invalid.

§5 When confirmation has been notified, the person elected obtains full right to the office, unless the law provides otherwise.

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