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A writ of election is a writ issued by the government ordering the holding of a special election for a political office.

In the United Kingdommarker and in Canadamarker, this is the only way of holding an election for the House of Commons. When the government wants to or is required to dissolve Parliament, a writ of election is issued for each constituency (in the UK) or electoral district (in Canada).

In the United Statesmarker, this writ is issued mainly by state governors for filling vacancies in the United States House of Representatives, the United States Senate, or the states' own legislature.

In Australia, the writs are issued by the Governor-General for the House of Representatives and by the respective state Governors for the Senate. State governors also issue the writs for elections in the state and territorial legislatures. The writs are issued to the relevant Electoral Officer or Returning Officer, as the case may be, who must return them after the election has been held within a fixed period.


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