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What If The Presidential Election Is A Tie?

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Published on Nov 2, 2012

(Bloomberg Law) -- With the presidential race so close, what would happen if Americans wake up on Wednesday to a tie in Electoral College votes?

The answer comes from the Constitution's Twelfth Amendment. It provides that if no candidate has a majority in the Electoral College, the House of Representatives shall choose the President, but the Senate chooses the Vice President.

Most polls suggest that the Republicans will maintain control of the House, while the Democrats will hold on to the Senate. That means, if there is an Electoral College tie, we could be looking at a Romney-Biden administration.

A split election has happened once since 1804 when the Twelfth Amendment took effect. After Congress decided the election of 1824, vice president John C. Calhoun spent much of his term trying to thwart the nationalist agenda of President John Quincy Adams.


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