POSTED: Wednesday, October 8, 2008 - 3:34pm
UPDATED: Wednesday, March 17, 2010 - 10:59am
With the presidential election in less than a month, many are wondering what will happen if there's a tie in the Electoral College.
A nominee needs 270 votes to win but if each nominee gets 269 votes each, then what? We'll if you look to the constitution; it's easy to find the answer. The Electoral College has until December 15th to cast their vote for President. Then the House of Representatives would choose the President by ballot when they meet in January, according to the 12th Amendment.
But this isn't a normal vote; each state only has one vote. "Right now the Democrats are the majority in this vote," UT Tyler professor, Dr. Larry Carter, said. "So Obama would likely win that."
At least 26 state delegations in the House must agree before the next President can be chosen. And while the House chooses the President, the Senate would select the Vice President. "Each Senator gets one vote," Carter said. "So you could have a Democratic President and a Republican Vice-President."
The only time in U.S. history the House has had to choose is in 1800 between Thomas Jefferson and Aaron Burr. And because the way politics work has changed so much since then, Carter said no one can be sure what would happen now.
"That's the scary part," Carter said. "Were in a time where no one knows what's going to happen with the economy, then we throw in the fact that we don't know whose going to be President. I just don't know if the country can handle that right now."
Right now, national polls give Obama a small but steady lead over McCain.