A tied electoral college?

3bluedudes.com has a fascinating article on what’s arguably the worst electoral situation of all: each candidate gets 269 electoral votes apiece. In which case the election would move to the House of Representatives, where each state delegation would get one vote, meaning that New York and North Dakota would be on equal footing and the political wrangling would be absolutely off the charts. And since the Senate picks the VP, we could even conceivably see a president from one party and a VP from another.  Assuming the country didn’t disintegrate into civil war in the meantime.

What’s of particular interest to me as a D.C. resident is the ambiguous role of the nation’s capital in such a scenario. D.C. gets 3 electoral votes, but has a non-voting presence in the House.  (well, they get to vote in committees, as long as their “vote” isn’t the decisive one).  So would D.C. be allowed to play a part in a House election?  Turns out it’s up to the Supreme Court.  And their verdict’s easy to predict.

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5 Responses to “A tied electoral college?”

  1. Ed Says:

    Here’s a clue:
    1) there will be no Civil War. The controlling parties in the House and the Senate will not allow another Civil War to happen, while they control the Military. There might be riots, but only if a Republican gets in. 2) The Supreme Court is loaded with Democrats, so yes, it is easy to predict which way they will vote. 3) You need to relax :-)

    As for a President from one Party and a VP from another, isn’t that the way the Elections in this country were originally set up? Not such a bad thing if you ask me.

  2. meesh Says:

    riots would be good. hell, i would stay in america for long enough to see this scenario go down but i have my doubts that this will actually happen…..

  3. David Williams Says:


    Here’s a clue: “civil war” was a joke (or, if you like, a serious metaphor).

    But don’t tell me to relax when the most important election since 1968 is less than six weeks away.

    And on the Supreme Court being “loaded with Democrats”: that’s a joke as well, right?

  4. susan Says:

    The major shortcoming of the current system of electing the President is that presidential candidates concentrate their attention on a handful of closely divided “battleground” states. In 2004 two-thirds of the visits and money were focused in just six states; 88% on 9 states, and 99% of the money went to just 16 states. Two-thirds of the states and people were merely spectators to the presidential election. Candidates have no reason to poll, visit, advertise, organize, campaign, or worry about the voter concerns in states where they are safely ahead or hopelessly behind. The reason for this is the winner-take-all rule under which all of a state’s electoral votes are awarded to the candidate who gets the most votes in each separate state.

    Another shortcoming of the current system is that a candidate can win the Presidency without winning the most popular votes nationwide. This has occurred in one of every 14 presidential elections.

    In the past six decades, there have been six presidential elections in which a shift of a relatively small number of votes in one or two states would have elected (and, of course, in 2000, did elect) a presidential candidate who lost the popular vote nationwide.

    The National Popular Vote bill would guarantee the Presidency to the candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states (and DC).

    Every vote would be politically relevant and equal in presidential elections.

    The bill would take effect only when enacted, in identical form, by states possessing a majority of the electoral votes—that is, enough electoral votes to elect a President (270 of 538). When the bill comes into effect, all the electoral votes from those states would be awarded to the presidential candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states (and DC).

    The National Popular Vote bill has passed 21 state legislative chambers, including one house in Arkansas, Colorado, Maine, North Carolina, and Washington, and both houses in California, Hawaii, Illinois, New Jersey, Maryland, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Vermont. The bill has been enacted by Hawaii, Illinois, New Jersey, and Maryland. These four states possess 50 electoral votes — 19% of the 270 necessary to bring the law into effect.

    See http://www.NationalPopularVote.com

  5. Brian Says:

    Wow! Relax? Seems like there’s been a little too much relaxing by too many Americans if you ask me. Of course, the only people I know that suggest one relax are perverted maniacs looking to score a little control.

    I say it’s long past due that Americans get involved and pay attention. As I see it, this election presents the last chance to save what’s been destroyed by years of neglect and outright abuse by the current administration. No, apathy and rolling over didn’t work out too well. Time for a fight.