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Whenever a candidate whose name appears upon the ballot at a general municipal election dies before the time of the closing of the polls on the day of election, the votes cast for such deceased candidate shall be counted in determining the results of the election for the office for which the decedent was a candidate. If the deceased candidate receives the highest number of the votes cast for the office, or if more than one is to be elected to such office and the deceased candidate receives sufficient votes to be one of those elected for such office, they shall be considered elected and the office to which they were elected shall be vacant at the beginning of the term for which they were elected. The vacancy thus created shall be filled in the same manner as if the candidate had died subsequent to taking office for that term.