The internet is full of conflicting information about what would happen if there is no clear winner by inauguration day in this upcoming presidential election. This scenario is highly likely because of the absolute chaos that will be caused by so many states adopting mail in ballots because of the Coronavirus pandemic. To find the truth about what would happen I decided to check the most original source material I could find on the subject, the United States Constitution.
The Twelfth Amendment governs exactly what would happen if there is no clear winner of the presidential election. I knew it would end up in the House of Representatives and I dreaded that because, as we all know, the Democrats control the House. After reading the amendment and doing some research I was greatly relieved. Here is the appropriate clause of the amendment.
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; 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.
I tried to use Google to find out the breakdown of the House of Representatives by party and state. Google as usual failed to provide search results for a clear and concise search request. Thankfully I found the information in this Breitbart article Pollak: How Pelosi’s House of Representatives Could Re-elect Trump. As you can see it was great news for us lovers of liberty.
While there are 435 representatives, there will only be 50 votes. And a current tally of representatives in each state shows that there are more Republican-majority delegations than Democrat-majority delegations. Republicans control 26 delegations; Democrats dominate 22; Pennsylvania is tied and Democrats have a 7-6 Michigan plurality.
I was concerned about the Democrats derailing the entire election, which should result in a Trump victory, by not Showing up when the election is handed off to the House. To prevent that from happening there would need to be more than thirty four States that have at least one Republican Representatives who would show up. There are only seven or eight states that have no Republicans so we are safe.
The Breitbart article gives the exact timing of when the election would be handed off to the House of Representatives if there is no victor.
It seems almost certain that neither party will accept a close result in the presidential election on November 3. And given the likely delays due to vote-by-mail, recounts, and legal challenges, it is possible neither President Donald Trump nor former Vice President Joe Biden will have an Electoral College majority by December 14, when the Electors cast their votes.
The Twenieth Amendment governs exactly what would happen if the House of Representatives could not come up with a winner by Inauguration Day.
If a President shall not have been chosen before the time fixed for the beginning of his term, or if the President elect shall have failed to qualify, then the Vice-President elect shall act as President until a President shall have qualified; and the Congress may by law provide for the case wherein neither a President elect nor a Vice-President shall have qualified, declaring who shall then act as President, or the manner in which one who is to act shall be selected, and such person shall act accordingly until a President or Vice-President shall have qualified.
As you can see, whichever party wins the House in the November election would appoint a temporary president until the election mess is finally sorted out. It is a tremendous incentive to do our best to make sure the Republicans take back the House.