General Question

Elfman's avatar

What happens if both candidates receive 269 electoral votes?

Asked by Elfman (449points) September 23rd, 2008

election, electoral votes, tie

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

12 Answers

skfinkel's avatar

Riots in the streets.

Seesul's avatar

Simply speaking, it would go to the House of Representatives, but before that would happen, each side would get a 41 day chance to try to persuade an elector to switch. For a complete explanation of the process read this.

iJimmy's avatar

They play Rock, Papper, Scissors.

fireside's avatar

I actually just read the answer to this a few minutes ago.
It is a good article

President Pelosi
President Biden
I like Obame/Palin combo the best…

SpatzieLover's avatar

Ugh! No please. No more of the drawn out elections decided by someone other than the popular vote.

robmandu's avatar

@Spatzie, the mechanics of the U.S. Electoral College are pretty interesting. The use of the Electoral College helps ensure equal representation on a state-by-state basis.

In other words, without an Electoral College, you’d find that the results of voting in the most populous states (like California, New York, Florida) would dominate presidential picks year after year. Matter of fact, you’d likely see the majority of campaign visits and political ads focused on those areas exclusively. (Doesn’t sound like a bad thing, when I put it that way.)

No system is perfect, which is why we we’re seeing a lot of drama recently, where swing states get an inordinate amount of attention. However, the upside is that the candidates must carry their campaigns around much more of the country.

SpatzieLover's avatar


In the past 2 elections, I have stayed up WAY to long to hear the results…OMG Bush vs. Gore I think I got 4hrs sleep til it was finally decided days later.

That’s all I was saying. I am not one that wants to do away w/the electoral college…esp since I live n the Midwest!

bodyhead's avatar

Amen SpatzieLover. I don’t even know why I vote when my vote can be overruled on a whim by someone on the electoral college.

The current system is just as bad as your hypothetical. If 100% of my state votes for Obama, the electoral college could still vote for McCain. There is nothing to legally prevent them from doing so. That is a bad system.

I want to do away with the electoral college. I would eliminate it and just give each state an equal percent in the final vote. I would essentially do the same thing that the electoral college pretends to do except the next president would be decided by more then 538 people.

robmandu's avatar

@bodyhead, faithless electors are subject to governance by their representative states… and in 24 states they can be prosecuted for not voting per pledge. In other cases, since most electors are assigned by their affiliated political party, they can face censure or other means of civil punishment.

It’s not a free for all. But I agree and reiterate, it’s not a perfect system.

bodyhead's avatar

Wow I didn’t know that they could actually be prosecuted in some states. Thanks for the link.

dalepetrie's avatar

Short answer, Obama/Biden would end up in the White House. This is because I really doubt there would be a faithless elector switching from the Democratic side to the Republican side after the last 8 years #1, so this would go to the House and the VP would go to the Senate. And given that there will be a firm Democrat majority in both houses, even though they’ll get strung up by their toes with whining about partisanship, after the last 8 years, Congress isn’t going to care. 269 is an Obama/Biden win.

fireside's avatar

Here’s what that article I linked to above said about the Senate vote:

…the Senate, with former Democrat Joe Lieberman voting with Republicans, deadlocks at 50–50, so Vice President Dick Cheney steps in to break the tie to make Republican Sarah Palin his successor.

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