Electoral Vote Tie

October 25, 2000

It probably won't happen, but it's fun to speculate about what would happen if there was an electoral vote tie. This year's presidential race is the closest since 1960. That has fueled speculation that the Electoral College vote could end in a 269-269 vote tie.

The Electoral College is made up of electors selected from each state on the basis of representation. Texas has 30 members of the House of Representatives and 2 U.S. Senators. Therefore, Texas has 32 electoral votes. There are 435 members of the House, and 100 members of the Senate. The District of Columbia also gets three votes for a total of 538 electors.

It is possible that the vote could end in a tie. Al Gore wins California, Connecticut, Delaware, D.C., Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennesse, Vermont, Washington, West Virginia, and Wisconsin. Bush wins the rest of the states. It would end in a 269-269 vote tie.

What would happen next? According to the Constitution, the race would go to the House where each state delegation would get one vote. If they voted along party lines. Bush would get 27 votes and Gore would get 23 votes. But again, what if some delegations did not vote along party lines? Could you get a 25-25 vote tie? That would certainly lead to some backroom deals and agonizing decisions.

Another possiblity would be that the winner of the popular vote did not win the electoral vote. That did happen in 1888, when Grover Cleveland received more votes than Benjamin Harrison. But Harrison was elected president because he got 65 more electoral votes.

Neither scenario is likely, but it's interesting to speculate about what would happen if something like this occured this year.

I'm Kerby Anderson of Probe Ministries, and that's my opinion.