Neither Obama nor Mitt Romney has been able to claim a majority. Honors even, 269 Electoral College votes to 269.
What next? Euronews has the answer.
The election of the president and vice-president of the United-States is defined in the Constitution’s second article. The president is indirectly elected. In each State, American citizens vote for a ticket (president / vice-president); the ticket that crosses the 50 per cent line wins the vote of that State’s electors, following the rule of “winner takes all” (except in Maine and Nebraska where rules are slightly more complicated).
Each state has a different number of Electors depending on its population. California being the most populated state in the US has 55 Electors while Montana, the least populated, has only three.
The number of Electors that make up the Electoral College is 538. To win the election, one of the candidates has to win 270 votes, the majority of the Electoral College.
A vote simulation which could lead to the scenario of a draw
But what happens if its a draw?
It might be an unlikely scenario but the American Constitution has a contingency plan for such an outcome. Legal provisions have been added to the 12th amendment on what happens next.
It is the duty of the newly elected House of the Representatives to vote on who will be president.
© Etienne Barthomeuf
On election day, Americans vote for the presidency and the 435 seats on offer in the House of Representatives and a third of the Senate (33 seats from the 100 available.)
In the case of a draw when the Electoral College votes in December, the president is then elected by the House of Representatives.
Each state has one vote.
The goal is to win 26 votes as the US has 50 states. Based on our calculation, 35 states are represented by Republicans in the house. Latest polls suggest they will keep their majority and continue to dominate. If that is the case Mitt Romney would be elected the 45th president of America.
The vice-president is elected by the Senate, each senator has a vote. Each state has two senators.
The first to win 51 votes gets the job.
As it stands the Democrats have a majority in the senate and that looks set to continue. If that is the case Joe Biden will win.
Now that will put the cat among the pigeons.
A Republican president and a Democrat vice-president.