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What if Kerry: 269 electoral votes; Bush 269 electoral votes

 
 
CoastalRat
 
  1  
Reply Wed 27 Oct, 2004 11:28 am
You may be right Free, the DC rep may not have a vote. I am trying to find out now whether she has a vote on this or not.
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FreeDuck
 
  1  
Reply Wed 27 Oct, 2004 11:34 am
I haven't found anything definitive yet. So far I found that they voted to allow DC a non-voting rep in 1970, but they may have since changed that.
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CoastalRat
 
  1  
Reply Wed 27 Oct, 2004 11:38 am
I know it is a non-voting rep when it comes to the everyday business of the House, but for breaking a tie in the Electoral College I am not sure. I have not been able to find anything yet either.
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joefromchicago
 
  1  
Reply Wed 27 Oct, 2004 01:51 pm
The tie-breaking procedure for electing the president and vice-president is found in the 12th Amendment.
    The Electors shall meet in their respective states, and vote by ballot for President and Vice-President, one of whom, at least, shall not be an inhabitant of the same state with themselves; they shall name in their ballots the person voted for as President and in distinct ballots the person voted for as Vice-President, and they shall make distinct lists of all persons voted for as President, and of all persons voted for as Vice-President, and of the number of votes for each, which lists they shall sign and certify, and transmit sealed to the seat of the government of the United States, directed to the President of the Senate;--The President of the Senate shall, in the presence of the Senate and House of Representatives, open all the certificates and the votes shall then be counted;--The person having the greatest number of votes for President, shall be the President, if such number be a majority of the whole number of Electors appointed; [b]and if no person have such majority, then from the persons having the highest numbers not exceeding three on the list of those voted for as President, the House of Representatives shall choose immediately, by ballot, the President, the votes shall be taken by states, the representation from each state having one vote; a quorum for this purpose shall consist of a member or members from two-thirds of the states, and a majority of all the states shall be necessary to a choice.[/b] And if the House of Representatives shall not choose a President whenever the right of choice shall devolve upon them, before the fourth day of March next following, then the Vice-President shall act as President, as in the case of the death or other constitutional disability of the President.--The person having the greatest number of votes as Vice-President, shall be the Vice-President, if such number be a majority of the whole number of Electors appointed, and [b]if no person have a majority, then from the two highest numbers on the list, the Senate shall choose the Vice-President; a quorum for the purpose shall consist of two-thirds of the whole number of Senators, and a majority of the whole number shall be necessary to a choice.[/b] But no person constitutionally ineligible to the office of President shall be eligible to that of Vice-President of the United States.
In other words, if the electoral vote ends up tied 269-269, the House of Representatives chooses the president, with each state delegation casting a single vote. In cases where a state's congressional delegation is equally divided, the state casts no vote. The candidate who gets 26 votes would be declared the winner.

The senate, meanwhile, would select the vice-president, with each senator casting a single vote, and the candidate receiving 51 votes would be declared the winner. It is possible, therefore, to have a president and vice-president from different parties elected under this procedure.

The District of Columbia would not have a vote for either the president or vice-president in this situation. The framework for the district's participation in presidential elections is set forth in the 23rd Amendment, which does not contain any provision for D.C.'s participation in the tie-breaker procedures contained in the 12th Amendment.
0 Replies
 
joefromchicago
 
  1  
Reply Wed 27 Oct, 2004 02:20 pm
fbaezer wrote:
I suppose it's the House of Representatives elected on nov 2, not the current one. Right?

That's correct. The procedure for counting electoral votes is set forth in 3 USC sec. 15. The President of the Senate (i.e. Dick Cheney) counts the electoral votes before a joint session of Congress on January 6. The congressional term begins on January 3, so it would be the new congress that would break any electoral ties, not the old one.
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fbaezer
 
  1  
Reply Wed 27 Oct, 2004 03:49 pm
Thank you all for your effort and responses.
It is indeed an odd, interesting institutional method.

Now, let's hope it's not a tie. The political turmoil would be gigantic.
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fbaezer
 
  1  
Reply Wed 27 Oct, 2004 05:12 pm
ebrown_p wrote:

Bush's first election was decided by the Judicial branch. Having his second decided by the Legislative branch would only lead to a logical outcome...

A third term decided by the executive?


Let me play devil's advocate and see if I understood.
This can become a game of Pol-Fi (Political Fiction), and also a horror story.

After nov 2nd, electoral votes are divided 269-269.
On January, the House of Representatives meets and each state gets one vote. The result is 23-23 (4 states had a stalemate and could not cast a vote).
The Senate meets and chooses Vicepresident. The result is 50-50. The President of the Senate breaks the split... voting for himself.
"And if the House of Representatives shall not choose a President whenever the right of choice shall devolve upon them, before the fourth day of March next following, then the Vice-President shall act as President".
With no President-elect, Vicepresident Cheney is at the helm, thanks to his own vote.
A "second term" decided by the Executive.
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nimh
 
  1  
Reply Thu 28 Oct, 2004 05:59 am
LOL!

Now that would be one bizarre outcome ... President Cheney, elected by himself. Heh.

Still. A 269-269 EV tie is a real enough risk we're facing here. A tie in the Senate, with Cheney casting the decisive vote, also real enough chance. But a tie in the House, with equal numbers of states supporting the respective candidates, is extremely unlikely, isn't it?

I mean, Bush has a huge advantage there, not just b/c the Republicans are likely to have a comfortable enough majority in the House, but also because Bush's support is spread out among many low-population states, while Dem support is concentrated in a few high-population states. So the 1 state 1 vote rule is very advantageous to the Reps.
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nimh
 
  1  
Reply Thu 28 Oct, 2004 06:31 am
Re: What if Kerry: 269 electoral votes; Bush 269 electoral v
fbaezer wrote:
This is mainly a technical question:

Suppose that, on Nov. 2, Bush carries, among the swing states, Ohio, Michigan, Colorado and New Mexico, and Kerry carries Florida, Wisconsin and Iowa. It's a 269-269 tie.

Or suppose that Colorado votes in favor of proportional electoral votes, Bush carries Ohio and Florida; Kerry carries Michigan, Wisconsin, New Mexico and Iowa, the Democrats barely win in Colorado and electoral votes are distributed 5-4. It's a 269-269 tie.


I think it's unlikely that Bush carries Michigan but Kerry gets FL, WI and IA. If Bush does well enough to win Michigan, there's no way in hell Kerry will still win Wisconsin those three other states.

Same with Colorado. Colorado is a really long shot for the Dems - I think they'll only win it if they do really well overall, in which case they should have done well enough to win either FL or OH as well.

But here's another 269-269 scenario. If Kerry wins Ohio and Iowa (as well as Pennsylvania, Michigan, New Hampshire and either Minnesota or Wisconsin), but Bush wins Florida, New Mexico and either Wisconsin or Minnesota, you get an EV tie as well. Yeah, Iowa's gonna be tough I know. But not as tough as Colorado.

Hmm ... I wonder how many different 269-269 scenarios we can come up with? ;-)
0 Replies
 
nimh
 
  1  
Reply Thu 28 Oct, 2004 06:59 am
Re: What if Kerry: 269 electoral votes; Bush 269 electoral v
nimh wrote:
Hmm ... I wonder how many different 269-269 scenarios we can come up with? ;-)

Here's another one.

See, I'm still holding out hope for West-Virginia. And even if Kerry doesn't win Ohio or Florida, but does win New Hampshire (which I considered a given in my calculations above), Michigan, Wisconsin, Iowa and Minnesota as well as New Mexico and West-Virginia - then its 269/269 again.

Razz

Or ... the same as above, but with instead of West-Virginia, Nevada going Democrat ...

nimh <- playing around with the interactive map linked in on this LATimes page
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joefromchicago
 
  1  
Reply Thu 28 Oct, 2004 08:40 am
fbaezer wrote:
The Senate meets and chooses Vicepresident. The result is 50-50. The President of the Senate breaks the split... voting for himself.

An interesting, if not chilling, scenario (you need to sell the screen rights to Hollywood). I'm not sure, however, if the vice-president, as president of the senate, would be allowed to cast a vote in this situation. The 12th Amendment states:
    "...if no person have a majority, then from the two highest numbers on the list, the Senate shall choose the Vice-President; a quorum for the purpose shall consist of two-thirds of the whole number of Senators, and [b]a majority of the whole number shall be necessary to a choice[/b]."
That last phrase can be read two ways: (1) that a candidate must receive a majority vote of senators; or (2) that candidate must receive a majority vote of the senate. In the first case, the vice-president would not be allowed to vote; in the second case, he would (or, at least, he'd have a much better argument for being allowed to vote).

Unfortunately, history offers us no guidance. The senate has used this procedure only once, to elect Richard Johnson in 1837. The senate vote in that case was 33-16, so there was never any question of the vice-president casting a tie-breaking vote (ironically, the vice-president at the time was Martin Van Buren, who was also the president-elect). Strangely enough, the only time that the 12th Amendment was used to break a tie in a presidential election -- 1825 -- there was no need for the senate to elect a vice-president: John C. Calhoun was elected to that position with a clear majority of the electoral college.
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nimh
 
  1  
Reply Fri 29 Oct, 2004 08:22 am
Here's another nightmare scenario: Bush appoints the SC judge who casts the deciding vote that makes him president.

Quote:
First, imagine complications permanently incapacitate Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist, who is in the hospital recuperating from serious surgery, rendering him unable to carry out his Supreme Court duties. Second, suppose the presidential election is thrown into the courts. The result? A serious constitutional crisis, in which President Bush appoints the Rehnquist replacement who casts the vote that decides the election.


How, why and when? Details here
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joefromchicago
 
  1  
Reply Fri 29 Oct, 2004 08:57 am
Another possible scenario involves "shedding" electoral votes. This article explains it all.
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fbaezer
 
  1  
Reply Fri 29 Oct, 2004 09:39 am
Great article Joe.
I just sent it to interested friends.
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