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U.S. Elections

2004 Electoral College Tie - what if?

Even if not too likely it's certainly possible. Let's describe the scenario:
Electoral College Votes: 538 (535 corresponds to the number of Congress members; 3 votes come from D.C. which is allowed to have the same number of votes as the least populated state has (2 Senators/1 Representative)).
Assuming there occurs a tie situation in the Electoral College, the House will determine the next President, and the Senate will determine who becomes Vice President.

The House has 1 vote per state which means the state representatives have to agree on one candidate. States where you have e.g. 2 Democrats and 2 Republican will most likely not agree on this single candidate and thus not be able to participate in the selection process.

Now, it should be mentioned, that it will be the newly appointed Congress (109th) that will decide, not the the old one (Lame Duck Congress). That leaves enough room for speculations, what could happen in the 2004 elections in case of an Electoral College tie. New Congress meets on Jan. 3rd, 2005. The Electoral votes are counted on January 6th, 2005.

Not relevant for the 2004 elections, but interesting: seeing the 108th Congress shortly before Election Day 2004: Republicans enjoy a majority in the House (227 R, 205 D, 1 I, 2 Vacancies(former R)) as well as in the Senate (51 Republicans, 48 Democrats, 1 Independent).
Republicans control 29 out of 50 states.
The Democrats control 16,
4 are split down the middle, and one is the state of Vermont, Congressman Bernard Sanders (House) who is an independent. Jim Jeffords (former Republican, now Independent), VT, is the independent in the U.S. Senate.

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  Abbreviations:
R=Republican
D=Democrat
I=Independent

Document revised: 2004-Oct-28
 

Document Information
Source: The House; Foreign Press Center Conference
Last modified: 20041023
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