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General Norms » Ecclesiastical Offices » Provision of Ecclesiastical Office » Election
Canon 165. Unless the law or the legitimate statutes of a college or group have provided otherwise, if a college or group of persons has the right of election to office, the election is not to be delayed beyond three months of useful time computed from the notice of the vacancy of the office. If this limit has passed without action, the ecclesiastical authority who has the right of confirming the election or the right of providing for the office successively is to make provision freely for the vacant office.
Canon 166. §1. The person presiding over a college or group is to convoke all those belonging to the college or group; the notice of convocation, however, when it must be personal, is valid if it is given in the place of domicile or quasi-domicile or in the place of residence.

§2. If anyone of those to be convoked was overlooked and for that reason was absent, the election is valid. Nevertheless, at the instance of that same person and when the oversight and absence have been proved, the election must be rescinded by the competent authority even if it has been confirmed, provided that it is evident juridically that recourse had been made at least within three days from the notice of the election.

§3. If more than one-third of the electors were overlooked, however, the election is null by the law itself unless all those overlooked were in fact present.
Canon 167. §1. When the notice of the convocation has been given legitimately, those present on the day and at the place determined in the same notice have the right to vote. The faculty of voting by letter or proxy is excluded unless the statutes legitimately provide otherwise.

§2. If one of the electors is present in the house where the election occurs but cannot be present at the election due to ill health, his or her written vote is to be sought by the tellers.
Canon 168. Even if a person has the right to vote in his or her own name under several titles, the person can vote only once.
Canon 169. For an election to be valid, no one can be admitted to vote who does not belong to the college or group.
Canon 170. An election whose freedom actually has been impeded in any way is invalid by the law itself.
Canon 171. §1. The following are unqualified to vote:

1. a person incapable of a human act;

2. a person who lacks active voice;

3. a person under a penalty of excommunication whether through a judicial sentence or through a decree by which a penalty is imposed or declared;

4. a person who has defected notoriously from the communion of the Church.

§2. If one of the above is admitted, the person’s vote is null, but the election is valid unless it is evident that, with that vote subtracted, the one elected did not receive the required number of votes.
Canon 172. §1. To be valid, a vote must be:

1. free; therefore the vote of a person who has been coerced directly or indirectly by grave fear or malice to vote for a certain person or different persons separately is invalid;

2. secret, certain, absolute, determined.

§2. Conditions attached to a vote before the election are to be considered as not having been added.
Canon 173. §1. Before an election begins, at least two tellers are to be designated from the membership of the college or group.

§2. The tellers are to collect the votes, to examine in the presence of the one presiding over the election whether the number of ballots corresponds to the number of electors, to count the votes themselves, and to announce openly how many votes each person has received.

§3. If the number of votes exceeds the number of electors, the voting is without effect.

§4. All the acts of an election are to be transcribed accurately by the secretary and are to be preserved carefully in the archive of the college after they have been signed at least by the same secretary, the one presiding, and the tellers.
Canon 174. §1. Unless the law or the statutes provide otherwise, an election can also be done by compromise, provided that the electors, by unanimous and written consent, transfer the right to elect on that occasion to one or more suitable persons, whether from among the membership or outside it, who are to elect in the name of all by virtue of the faculty received.

§2. If it concerns a college or group composed of clerics alone, those commissioned must be ordained; otherwise the election is invalid.

§3. Those commissioned must observe the prescripts of the law concerning elections and, for the validity of the election, the conditions attached to the compromise agreement which are not contrary to the law; conditions contrary to the law, however, are to be considered as not having been attached.
Canon 175. The compromise ceases and the right to vote returns to those authorizing the compromise:

1. by revocation by the college or group before any action was taken;

2. if some condition attached to the compromise agreement was not fulfilled;

3. if the election had been completed but was null.
Canon 176. Unless the law or the statutes provide otherwise, the person who has received the required number of votes according to the norm of can. 119, n. 1 is considered elected and is to be announced as such by the one presiding over the college or group.
Canon 177. §1. An election must be communicated immediately to the person elected who must inform the one presiding over the college or group whether or not he or she accepts the election within eight useful days after receiving the notification; otherwise, the election has no effect.

§2. If the one elected has not accepted, the person loses every right deriving from the election and does not regain any right by subsequent acceptance but can be elected again. A college or group, however, must proceed to a new election within a month from notifcation of non-acceptance.
Canon 178. The person elected who has accepted an election which does not need confirmation obtains the office in full right immediately; otherwise, the person acquires only the right to the office.

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