By Brian McGovern | Cross-posted at SaveJersey.com
Everyone knows that to become President of the United States a candidate needs to collect 270 electoral votes, this is the lowest majority you can have to take the White House. So what happens if no one gets there. Or worse, what happens if both candidates get exactly 269 electoral votes? And what is the likelihood of that even happening?
Well, taking a look at the map, its not as unlikely as you might think. Check out this map I put together:
This map is perfectly possible and would be an absolute nightmare for the process. So I am sure you are now wondering, what happens in this case? Look no further than the Constitution.
The 12th Amendment in part reads:
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; 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. But in choosing the President, the votes shall be taken by states, the representation from each state having one vote . . .
So basically what it means is that when no one has 270, the election goes to the House of Representatives. Each state's delegation will vote amongst themselves and their state gets one vote. The majority of the states will then elect the President. Clearly since 33 states currently enjoy a Republican majority delegation, Mitt Romney would be the winner, right? Not so fast.
The vote would take place on January 6, 2013, when the House and Senate normally meet to count the electoral votes every four years. The House that would be voting on the President will be the newly elected House in 2013. How do we know this if its never happened before? Well, for starters, the 2012 electoral college is based on the newly redistricted maps of the 50 states, so some of the members of Congress (see either Steve Rothman or Bill Pascrell) will not even be in the House anymore when this vote takes place.
This political doomsday scenario shows the importance of not only electing Romney, but also maintaining a strong Republican majority in the House. But wait, theres more.
The Vice President will not just glide in on Romney's coat tails. The Senate will select the Vice President in the same way that the House selects the President. This means that under the 269 - 269 map, unless the GOP takes over the Senate, we would have President Romney and Vice President Biden until 2016. What a weird White House that would be.
Brian McGovern is a New Jersey law student, conservative commentator, and managing editor of New Jersey’s #1 conservative blog, Save Jersey. You can learn more about Brian and the Christie Revolution by visiting today!