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What Happens If Trump overturns a state or more, no one reaches 270 electoral votes?

What Happens If  Trump overturns a state or more, no one reaches 270 electoral votes?

We hear from the Biden campaign that if Trump refuses to concede, then come January 20, 12:01 P.M. Trump will be forcefully thrown out of the White House, but is this true?

Yes and no.

If the states certify the election results with a Certificates of Ascertainment, then the constitution states come January 20th, the winner of the electoral votes will be sworn in as president. There is no contesting this; at twelve noon Biden would be president.

Yet, if Trump ties this up in court, refuses to concede, and continues to fight in court the election results, thus stopping states from certifying the election, you then have a case where the votes are thrown out, the electoral college votes as well, we now have a different electoral process that kicks in.

It is then passed to the Congress to vote in the president, the Senate then will vote for the Vice President.

This happens after December 6th, with no president able to be picked we then move on to the next step.

I know many are looking at Congress’s makeup, say that Trump will not have a prayer, but not all is as it seems. Congress itself cannot vote; rather, each state picks one representative to vote for them in congress. This means that states with more representatives, such as California, New York, and even Texas, lose their numerical advantage; they only have one vote.

This is where things get interesting. Currently, the US has 24 states run by the GOP, fourteen by the Democrats, with twelve purple states (different parties control the legislation and both the Senate and House. Wisconsin is a great example. The Governor is a Democrat, both the Wisconsin House and Senate are Republican-controlled. Thus it would be the House, not the governor, as is stated in the constitution that picks the Wisconsin elector; it will be the same for the Senate in their pick of Vice President.

We then are looking at the congress in each state deciding who their elector will be; these people, in turn, will then cast a vote for president as the congress of the state has dictated. There is no constitutional granting for unfaithful electors, so this at this point will not be a problem.

Things get more blurry at this point because there is no president come noon on January 20th, Trump will no longer, at that time, be president. Whomever the House elects a speaker will take over the presidency until the House can cast their votes. If Speaker of the House Pelosi is elected back in, we could be looking at a President Pelosi for a short period. Yet, once the president is elected, they would take control of the White House, Pelosi would go back as a speaker.

While I would prefer to see the people’s will, one has to question, is what we are seeing the will of the people, or are many of these votes being cast from dead people and multiple votes from the same individual’s something that should be overlooked?

I would rather see a do-over, yet the Democrats will never allow this. They put too much work into trying to swing this election by hook and crook towards their benefits.

We could see the Congress determine the president, more so if Trump can take one or more states from Biden in a challenge, we could end up with what has never been done, a congressionally appointed president.

There is one last point to be made, this would not mean that Trump and Pence would be a shoo-in, Congress and the Senate in such a case could go elsewhere, but it is doubtful since they have to choose from the top contenders in the election and Trump ran for the most part solo.

What would happen after this, that is a whole different article.

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About The Author

Timothy Benton

Student of history, a journalist for the last 2 years. Specialize in Middle East History, more specifically modern history with the Israeli Palestinian conflict. Also, a political commentator has been a lifetime fan of politics.

2 Comments

  1. Marty

    I want to ask you about Pelosi returning to Congress after assuming the Presidency. My understanding is that to be sworn in as President she must resign her congressional seat first. She then would have no seat to return to. Is this the case? Of course Newsome would probably reappoint her.

    Reply
    • user

      Since she would be pro tempore President, I am not sure if this would require a resignation, more a suspension. Since it has never been done, this would open some constitutional questions.

      Reply

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