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Author Topic: Election process if no one gets a majority in the Elec College?  (Read 11329 times)
Harry
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« Reply #25 on: December 14, 2003, 10:35:57 am »
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Here's another thought:  If the speaker of the House must resign to become president in such a horrible split, then he would have to give up his vote in his delegation, which could shift his state's vote and break the tie.  And if the vote were taken on the same day as the former speaker's inauguration, then that speaker would have only served for a few hours and have gauranteed the other party's election!
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Demrepdan
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« Reply #26 on: December 14, 2003, 04:11:11 pm »
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Here's another thought:  If the speaker of the House must resign to become president in such a horrible split, then he would have to give up his vote in his delegation, which could shift his state's vote and break the tie.  And if the vote were taken on the same day as the former speaker's inauguration, then that speaker would have only served for a few hours and have gauranteed the other party's election!

The House Vote would take place shortly after they count the Electoral Votes. So sometime around January 6th. Accordingly, the speaker would have NO reason to resign yet. He would be able to vote in his state delegation, and if there were a tie in the state delegations, THEN he would be forced to resign from his office of Speaker and U.S. Representative. He would probably resign shortly before January 20th, after the House has attempted to resolve the matter many times. If there is a tie in state delegations, they CAN keep voting until someone wins. But if the deciding state delegation is  just too stubborn, resulting in a tie in the House, then the Speaker would have to take the office of President.

Furthermore, if the Speaker lives in a state that has a tied delegation, that would give him the incentive to vote for the other party JUST so the election would be decided, and he would not have to give up all his power. Remember, that the Speaker may very well not serve as President the entire four years, but until Congress has decided who the next President should be, so the Speaker would more than likely be President for a short period of time. Therefore, he would have to give up ALL that power as Speaker, just to be President for a short while.

Even if he didnít live in a state with a tied delegation, that would give him the incentive to work hard with congress, and attempt to sway some Republicans to vote for the Democrat, or vice versa, in those states with tied delegations.
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jravnsbo
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« Reply #27 on: December 14, 2003, 05:57:47 pm »
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Nothing says the Speaker has to take the oath immediately esp as Congress would be in session when HE decided and in any event stilla couple weeks before the 20th.  The whole outcome would have to be deadlocked for his specific state to matter.  

On another route if he had to resign to become President briefly, even though delayed he could probably either be appointed or win the special election easily most likely.  Still would be a member, maybe just not speaker.
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« Reply #28 on: December 14, 2003, 06:17:42 pm »
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Still would be a member, maybe just not speaker.

No person may hold any other office while President.

Therefore, if the Speaker became President he would have to resign from both the office of Speaker AND U.S. Representative.
« Last Edit: December 14, 2003, 06:18:21 pm by Demrepdan »Logged

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« Reply #29 on: December 15, 2003, 01:04:39 am »
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Still would be a member, maybe just not speaker.

No person may hold any other office while President.

Therefore, if the Speaker became President he would have to resign from both the office of Speaker AND U.S. Representative.
I think what the dude was trying to say was that even tho the speaker WOULD have to resign from both the office of Speaker AND U.S. Representative; he would presumably win the special election that would be held soon after and thus regain his seat.

To this I would add that an arrangement would be made by which only an interim speaker would be installed and the Ex-President former speaker wqould be reinstated as soon as he regained his House seat.

Such arrangements are frequently made when for instance a senior member leaves to run for another office> it is often understood that if he/she fails in that bid and returns to the house he/she would regain his/her position.
I expect the same would apply to the Speaker.
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« Reply #30 on: December 16, 2003, 10:07:29 pm »

Well, if the President elect died before the EC voted, then the electors could vote for anyone they wanted to. Presumably the party would want to decide on one candidate for them all to vote for, because if they split their votes the race could get thrown into the House. But, the electors could vote for whomever they chose, the party would probably try to get them to vote for the VP elect, but they wouldn't have to.
Yes, Horace Greeley in 1872 died before the EC voted, it didn't really matter since he lost the election, and thus the Dems didn't really worry about who the electors voted for. The electors ended up splitting their votes several ways.
If the House is evenly divided on the vote for Speaker I believe (but am not entirely sure) that the old Speaker would continue to hold the office until the tie could be broken. Either that, or the Speakership may be completely vacant until the tie can be broken. The Constitution seems unclear on this.
The Vice Presidency couldn't be vacant though unless there was a filibuster, since the Senate must decide from the top 2 candidates and there is a provision to break a 50-50 tie (the sitting VP votes). Thus, this ensures that at worst the VP-elect becomes acting President if the House can't elect a President.
But, what if the sitting VP decides to abstain from voting for either of the two top candidates, if he is from the opposite party that just lost re-election, or his administration had their two terms and the candidate from their party lost in both the general election and electoral college, he may be bitter toward the winning party's nominees. What happens then?
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jravnsbo
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« Reply #31 on: December 21, 2003, 02:08:07 am »
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i understand that.  Just said he could at least quickly run again an get back in.  House member that is.


Still would be a member, maybe just not speaker.

No person may hold any other office while President.

Therefore, if the Speaker became President he would have to resign from both the office of Speaker AND U.S. Representative.
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« Reply #32 on: December 21, 2003, 02:10:55 am »
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Well first off the VP does not vote on President, that is the job of the House if it gets to the House.

You could have a President and VP from different parties.  It happened way back and it was discussed in 2000, with Bush winning Presidency but with a 50-50 tie ( at the time) in the Senate, then VP Gore could have voted for Sen Lieberman to be named VP.  

Would have been perfectly legal.


Well, if the President elect died before the EC voted, then the electors could vote for anyone they wanted to. Presumably the party would want to decide on one candidate for them all to vote for, because if they split their votes the race could get thrown into the House. But, the electors could vote for whomever they chose, the party would probably try to get them to vote for the VP elect, but they wouldn't have to.
Yes, Horace Greeley in 1872 died before the EC voted, it didn't really matter since he lost the election, and thus the Dems didn't really worry about who the electors voted for. The electors ended up splitting their votes several ways.
If the House is evenly divided on the vote for Speaker I believe (but am not entirely sure) that the old Speaker would continue to hold the office until the tie could be broken. Either that, or the Speakership may be completely vacant until the tie can be broken. The Constitution seems unclear on this.
The Vice Presidency couldn't be vacant though unless there was a filibuster, since the Senate must decide from the top 2 candidates and there is a provision to break a 50-50 tie (the sitting VP votes). Thus, this ensures that at worst the VP-elect becomes acting President if the House can't elect a President.
But, what if the sitting VP decides to abstain from voting for either of the two top candidates, if he is from the opposite party that just lost re-election, or his administration had their two terms and the candidate from their party lost in both the general election and electoral college, he may be bitter toward the winning party's nominees. What happens then?
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« Reply #33 on: December 22, 2003, 01:14:52 pm »

Well first off the VP does not vote on President, that is the job of the House if it gets to the House.

You could have a President and VP from different parties.  It happened way back and it was discussed in 2000, with Bush winning Presidency but with a 50-50 tie ( at the time) in the Senate, then VP Gore could have voted for Sen Lieberman to be named VP.  

Would have been perfectly legal.


Well, if the President elect died before the EC voted, then the electors could vote for anyone they wanted to. Presumably the party would want to decide on one candidate for them all to vote for, because if they split their votes the race could get thrown into the House. But, the electors could vote for whomever they chose, the party would probably try to get them to vote for the VP elect, but they wouldn't have to.
Yes, Horace Greeley in 1872 died before the EC voted, it didn't really matter since he lost the election, and thus the Dems didn't really worry about who the electors voted for. The electors ended up splitting their votes several ways.
If the House is evenly divided on the vote for Speaker I believe (but am not entirely sure) that the old Speaker would continue to hold the office until the tie could be broken. Either that, or the Speakership may be completely vacant until the tie can be broken. The Constitution seems unclear on this.
The Vice Presidency couldn't be vacant though unless there was a filibuster, since the Senate must decide from the top 2 candidates and there is a provision to break a 50-50 tie (the sitting VP votes). Thus, this ensures that at worst the VP-elect becomes acting President if the House can't elect a President.
But, what if the sitting VP decides to abstain from voting for either of the two top candidates, if he is from the opposite party that just lost re-election, or his administration had their two terms and the candidate from their party lost in both the general election and electoral college, he may be bitter toward the winning party's nominees. What happens then?
Wow. That would have been something to see. Do you think that Lieberman would have run against his own boss? Now that would really be something to see. Bush would not only have to worry about Re-Election, but having to choose a new V.P. running mate, plus running against his current, sitting V.P.
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jravnsbo
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« Reply #34 on: December 22, 2003, 04:35:47 pm »
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well the rub was that Lieberman would have had to give up his senate seat to take the VP spot.  Thus with a GOP governor thhe seat would have gone to the GOP and control yet 51-49, until Jeffords jumped ( if he still would have).

Would have been incredibly interesting in 2004.  

Lieberman would either have to run or be out completely.  I think he would have been the obvious pick for nominee in that case though.
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« Reply #35 on: December 23, 2003, 09:24:04 pm »

well the rub was that Lieberman would have had to give up his senate seat to take the VP spot.  Thus with a GOP governor thhe seat would have gone to the GOP and control yet 51-49, until Jeffords jumped ( if he still would have).

Would have been incredibly interesting in 2004.  

Lieberman would either have to run or be out completely.  I think he would have been the obvious pick for nominee in that case though.
But, what do you suppose would happen if Lieberman [if the scenario where Al Gore had to break a tie in the Senate for the selection of Vice President, back in 2000] as V.P., decided to run against his boss, who'd be GEORGE BUSH, in 2004? Bush wouldn't have to just worry about re-election, but he'd have to face his own V.P.[assuming that Lieberman refused to resign] and choose a new running mate to replace Lieberman. Any thoughts/comments?
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jravnsbo
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« Reply #36 on: December 24, 2003, 10:20:56 am »
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dem party would have lieberman as nominee and Lieberman would be tied to the senate more breaking ties.  

Nader would assuredly run vs him and Bush would win reelection and replace him with his own VP.
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« Reply #37 on: June 03, 2004, 05:28:33 pm »
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thanks for confirming that. Does anyone know what happens if a delegation is evenly split between candidates? That would actually happen in several cases right now. How does the delegations one vote get decided?
Before the passage of the 20th Amendment, the terms of Congress and the President both began on March 4, and the electoral votes were counted by the outgoing lame-duck Congress, and any cases where the House or Senate would make the decision would be done by the lame-duck body.

In 1801 (prior to the 12th Amendment), Thomas Jefferson and Aaron Burr were Democrat running mates, and each received an electoral vote from every one of the supporters.  They thus, both received a majority of the electoral vote.  In this case, the Constitution provided that the House decide among the top 2 candidates (rather than the top 5, which would have been the case if none had a majority).

The Federalists had a majority in the outgoing House, but did not control a majority of the delegations.  They considered simply putting off the electoral count, but then decided to throw their support behind Burr.  There were 16 States, and they voted 8 for Jefferson, 6 for Burr, and 2 not voting because their delegation was split (Maryland 3:3 and Vermont 1:1).  It was not until a week and 37 ballots later that the deadlock was broken, and Jefferson elected.  Burr became Vice President.  If the Federalists had succeeded in electing Burr, then Jefferson would have become (continued as) Vice President.

The 1801 election resulted in the passage of the 12th Amendment, which separates the election of the President and Vice President, and also explicitly provided for the case where the House was unable to elect a President by the start of his term.   I suspect that one reason that the Senate chooses the VP between the top 2 candidates (vs the House choosing the President from among the top 3), was to make the election of one almost certain.

In 1824, no Presidential candidate received a majority of the electoral votes (all candidates were Democrat-Republicans.  IN the Vice Presidential race, John C Calhoun received about 3/4 of the electoral votes).  In 1825, the outgoing Congress elected John Quincy Adams on the first ballot (with 13 of 24 state ballots).  The intrigue in the House contributed to the belief that Andrew Jackson had been denied election warranted by his popular support, and accelerated the trend towards choosing electors by popular vote.

The 20th Amendment moved the start of congressional and presidential terms to January, and staggered them so that it is the incoming Congress that would count the electoral votes, and decide who would become President or Vice President in cases of non-majority electoral support.
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« Reply #38 on: June 26, 2004, 08:45:35 pm »
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The old VP does not get to break a tie on who the new VP would be.  The 12th amendment specifies that it requires a majority of the whole number of Senators to make the choice when it devolves onto the Senate.
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« Reply #39 on: July 29, 2004, 05:39:41 pm »
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Prior to splitting the votes for president and vice president, I believe that the vice president was always the candidate who recieved the second most number of electoral votes. Jefferson was elected by the House when Hamilton finally threw his support behind Jefferson over Burr. This was the cause of the fatal Hamilton/Burr duel, or so the story goes.
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Jim Valvano
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« Reply #40 on: August 25, 2004, 02:11:20 pm »
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What if four (or more) candidates got an equal number of electoral votes. The Constitution says the house should choose from the top three but in this case that would be impossible. Does anyone know what would happen in this scenario?
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« Reply #41 on: August 25, 2004, 05:59:39 pm »
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I don't know for certain.  Statutory law doesn't address this issue, but common law might.  The two likeliest interprestations are that either:
  • all four candidates would be under consideration, or
  • before proceding to the election of a president, the House would first have to determine which three candidates that it wished to consider.
The problem is extremely unlikely to coccur, and it certainly won't happen this year.  It might come up in 2008.  If the Coloradao initiative passes, a 268-268-1-1 result is not at all impossible and would provide a reasonably sane and safe way to test what to do.
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