6 questions about contingent elections

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Quetta:
If no presidential candidate receives a majority of votes in the Electoral College, the U.S. House of Representatives gets tasked with electing the president.


1.) Are the votes for president cast by secret ballot?
(Which, if so, wouldn't be really secret for low-digit state delegations, and not secret for one-Representative delegations at all.)

2.) Does a state delegation need a plurality or a majority of votes for a presidential candidate in order to be able to cast their single vote for that candidate?
(Let's say, 20 Representatives from state X vote for candidate A, 19 for candidate B, and 2 for candidate C; has state X eventually cast its vote for candidate A or for technically for none?)

3.) What happens in case of a tie (or in case of a plurality vote, if a majority for a presidential candidate is needed)? Is the voting done, or will the Representatives keep on voting until the tie is overridden (or a majority of votes is reached, respectively)?

4.) Is a plurality of state votes sufficient for a presidential candidate in order to become president, or is a majority vote needed? And what happens in case of a tie (or in case of an insufficient plurality votes)?

5.) If a new president has been elected, will Inauguration Day be postponed, as the winning candidate hasn't had the opportunity to arrange the transition of power, so that he won't be able to meet the strict and tight deadline?

6.) Providing the Electoral College was incapable of electing a president nor a vice president, will the contingent elections for either office take place simultaneously?
If the Senate starts selecting someone for VP only after the House has finished its electoral process, its result could influence the Senators' decision.

Thank you for sharing your expertise in advance!

Gary JG:
Quote from: XFD1048576 on November 06, 2020, 02:28:38 AM

If no presidential candidate receives a majority of votes in the Electoral College, the U.S. House of Representatives gets tasked with electing the president.


1.) Are the votes for president cast by secret ballot?
(Which, if so, wouldn't be really secret for low-digit state delegations, and not secret for one-Representative delegations at all.)

2.) Does a state delegation need a plurality or a majority of votes for a presidential candidate in order to be able to cast their single vote for that candidate?
(Let's say, 20 Representatives from state X vote for candidate A, 19 for candidate B, and 2 for candidate C; has state X eventually cast its vote for candidate A or for technically for none?)

3.) What happens in case of a tie (or in case of a plurality vote, if a majority for a presidential candidate is needed)? Is the voting done, or will the Representatives keep on voting until the tie is overridden (or a majority of votes is reached, respectively)?

4.) Is a plurality of state votes sufficient for a presidential candidate in order to become president, or is a majority vote needed? And what happens in case of a tie (or in case of an insufficient plurality votes)?

5.) If a new president has been elected, will Inauguration Day be postponed, as the winning candidate hasn't had the opportunity to arrange the transition of power, so that he won't be able to meet the strict and tight deadline?


Thank you for sharing your expertise in advance!



Based upon what happened in the two Presidential elections decided by the House, it is possible to give answers to your questions.

1. The members of state delegations voted by ballots put in boxes. The House Journal does not identify individual members votes, but clearly this could only be a semi secret ballot.

2. A plurality of votes was sufficient. Not all members of a state delegation had to vote on every ballot and there was no quorum requirement, so one member of a 20 member delegation could cast the state vote if all the others abstained.

3. If a delegations vote was tied, then the state vote was not cast on that round of voting. The balloting was redone each time the House voted, until someone was elected.

4. The Constitution requires a majority of state delegations to elect. If that is not achieved then the House moves on to the next Ballot.

5. The date for the start of the next Presidential term is now specified in the constitution (noon on the 20th day of January). If a President has been elected they will take office on schedule. If the House is still deadlocked then the Vice President elect becomes Acting President or if both offices are vacant then present law would make the Speaker of the House Acting President.


Quetta:
Thank you! Thank you! Thank you for your particularized answer! It is really helpful. 😘

jimrtex:
Quote from: Gary JG on November 06, 2020, 11:08:47 PM

Quote from: XFD1048576 on November 06, 2020, 02:28:38 AM

If no presidential candidate receives a majority of votes in the Electoral College, the U.S. House of Representatives gets tasked with electing the president.


1.) Are the votes for president cast by secret ballot?
(Which, if so, wouldn't be really secret for low-digit state delegations, and not secret for one-Representative delegations at all.)

2.) Does a state delegation need a plurality or a majority of votes for a presidential candidate in order to be able to cast their single vote for that candidate?
(Let's say, 20 Representatives from state X vote for candidate A, 19 for candidate B, and 2 for candidate C; has state X eventually cast its vote for candidate A or for technically for none?)

3.) What happens in case of a tie (or in case of a plurality vote, if a majority for a presidential candidate is needed)? Is the voting done, or will the Representatives keep on voting until the tie is overridden (or a majority of votes is reached, respectively)?

4.) Is a plurality of state votes sufficient for a presidential candidate in order to become president, or is a majority vote needed? And what happens in case of a tie (or in case of an insufficient plurality votes)?

5.) If a new president has been elected, will Inauguration Day be postponed, as the winning candidate hasn't had the opportunity to arrange the transition of power, so that he won't be able to meet the strict and tight deadline?


Thank you for sharing your expertise in advance!



Based upon what happened in the two Presidential elections decided by the House, it is possible to give answers to your questions.

1. The members of state delegations voted by ballots put in boxes. The House Journal does not identify individual members votes, but clearly this could only be a semi secret ballot.

2. A plurality of votes was sufficient. Not all members of a state delegation had to vote on every ballot and there was no quorum requirement, so one member of a 20 member delegation could cast the state vote if all the others abstained.

3. If a delegations vote was tied, then the state vote was not cast on that round of voting. The balloting was redone each time the House voted, until someone was elected.

4. The Constitution requires a majority of state delegations to elect. If that is not achieved then the House moves on to the next Ballot.

5. The date for the start of the next Presidential term is now specified in the constitution (noon on the 20th day of January). If a President has been elected they will take office on schedule. If the House is still deadlocked then the Vice President elect becomes Acting President or if both offices are vacant then present law would make the Speaker of the House Acting President.



I could find nothing in the statutes, House rules or precedents regarding a contingent election. There are extensive precedents regarding the casting of electoral votes.

The Constitution provides nothing about the manner of voting. A record vote is only required for veto overrides. Article 1, Section 5, Paragraph 3 suggests that 1/5 of members might force a record vote - though perhaps it could be argued that a vote for a persons is not a yea or nay.

In 1825, there were no state delegations without a majority, so it is unknown whether a plurality could carry a delegation. Since a majority of delegations is necessary for election, it is reasonable to assume that a majority of a delegation is needed to cast a vote.

Recall that under the original Constitution the Top 5 could be voted on. It is absurd to think a 3:2:2:2:2 delegation could be decisive.

Quetta:
Quote from: jimrtex on November 10, 2020, 01:35:12 PM

I could find nothing in the statutes, House rules or precedents regarding a contingent election. There are extensive precedents regarding the casting of electoral votes.

The Constitution provides nothing about the manner of voting. A record vote is only required for veto overrides. Article 1, Section 5, Paragraph 3 suggests that 1/5 of members might force a record vote - though perhaps it could be argued that a vote for a persons is not a yea or nay.

In 1825, there were no state delegations without a majority, so it is unknown whether a plurality could carry a delegation. Since a majority of delegations is necessary for election, it is reasonable to assume that a majority of a delegation is needed to cast a vote.

Recall that under the original Constitution the Top 5 could be voted on. It is absurd to think a 3:2:2:2:2 delegation could be decisive.



Contingent election - that was the technical term I was looking for. Thanks!

I always thought there was only on indecent where the presidential election was decided in the House, namely that strange and complicated election of 1800, which led to an electoral law reform.
But there were two other contingent election: 1824, the first election where the popular vote winner lost and the only election where electoral winner lost, and the stolen election of 1876, which led to the Compromise of 1877.

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