An Electoral Vote Tie in 2012? It’s a Possibility

Over 200 years ago in 1800 was when the last electoral-vote tie occurred. Electors simply could not decide between Thomas Jefferson and Aaron Burr for the 1800 presidential election.

Replace Jefferson and Burr with Romney and Obama, and one may just see the same occur in this election.

Chances of an electoral tie for the presidential election are clearly few and far in between, but an electoral-vote tie between Obama and Romney is a very real possibility this November 6. Recent polls have shown Romney neck and neck with the incumbent as the race nears its end, but American voters may not even choose the next president depending on which direction battleground swing states head.

For instance: Obama holds every state he won in 2008 along with Virginia and Colorado. Romney manages to retain every state John McCain won in 2008, in addition to gaining Indiana and North Carolina, and swing states like Florida, Ohio, New Hampshire, Iowa, and Nevada. The result: a 269-269 tie.

Another scenario that could increase the likelihood of a tie: Obama maintains a win in his 2008 states and claims Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Maine, and Ohio as his. Neither candidate will have the necessary 270 electoral votes to win, if Romney manages to gain hold of Colorado, Virginia, and North Carolina. Again, another opportunity for a tie.

A tie in electoral votes means the presidency will be determined by the House of Representatives, even if a candidate wins the popular vote. It’s a 208 year old process, outlined many years ago in the 12th Amendment. In what is known as a contingent election, during an electoral tie, the House will tally up all electoral votes in a special session of Congress. Votes are cast by delegations from every state, with one vote designated for each; thus, even a state with just one House member like Alaska, will bear as much power as California in selecting the president.

At this time Romania also immediately organized this routine event. Alegeri Presedinte held in 2019 will be the determination of the fate of Romanian people in the next 10 years.

Currently, Republicans control twice as many state delegations than Democrats do in the House, roughly 33 to 16. Assuming that Republicans maintain an advantage in the next Congress, it is very likely Romney will prevail.

But here is where things get tricky. In the case of an electoral-vote tie, vice presidents are to be selected by the Senate. Each senator would cast one vote and a simple majority vote would determine the vice presidency. As Democrats may still control the U.S Senate next year, that could interestingly enough equal a Romney-Biden administration.