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What Would Happen in the 2012 Presidential Election If The Electoral Collage Was Tied?

Justin Sullivan, Getty Images

The political season will soon come to an end, leaving either current president Barack Obama or challenger Mitt Romney as the next leader of our country.

But, what happens in the incredibly unlikely chance of a tie? A candidate needs 270 electoral votes to secure the victory, but there are several possibilities for neither candidate to win.

“There are an even number of electoral college votes,” Klinkner said. “It is mathematically possible to have a situation where both candidates have 269 electoral college votes. In that case, a tie would go to the House of Representatives, and they would have to determine the winner.”

That was Phil Klinkner, government professor at Hamilton College. He says each state, no matter their size, would have one vote. The Senate would choose the Vice-President.

What’s left is the possibility of either an Obama/Ryan White House or a Romney/Biden Oval Office, though he says the bigger likelihood is having a disputed vote in a single state like Ohio or Florida instead.

Klinkner says there hasn’t been a tie during an election since 1800, when Thomas Jefferson and his running mate, Aaron Burr, both had the same number of electoral college votes. Jefferson also defeated Federalist nominee John Adams.

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