What happens if Hillary Clinton has to drop out of the race?

Hillary Clinton waves to press on September 11, 2016. (Photo credit Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images)

Hillary Clinton waves to press on September 11, 2016. (Photo credit Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON – In the 228-year history of elections held in the United States, a party’s presidential nominee has never dropped out before the election due to health reasons.

But after Hillary Clinton’s heath scare on Sunday, September 11 in which she overheated and later revealed she had pneumonia, many people are wondering, “What happens if Hillary has to drop out of the race?”

We all know that a vice president steps in when a president must step down for health reasons, but that’s not the case for presidential candidates.

So if Hillary drops out, her running mate Tim Kaine wouldn’t necessarily be the new presidential candidate. And Democratic presidential nominee “runner-up” Bernie Sanders wouldn’t necessarily fill the vacancy either.

Historian John Buescher explains the process in a very helpful blog post. He says the party chair of the Democratic National Committee would call a meeting, and all committee members at the meeting would vote to fill the vacancy on the ticket. A candidate must receive a majority of the party members’ votes to receive the party’s nod.

The Republican party follows the same process. Also, the same process would occur if the vacancy happened after the general election but before the Electoral College voting.

Of course, this is all just speculation because according to the Clinton campaign, she is “feeling fine and getting better.”