Could this year’s election beget a historic glitch? | Politics in Focus

All the polls say this presidential election will be very close. According to one political writer, it will come down to about a million people who live in the battleground states whose highest education is a high school diploma.

All the polls say this presidential election will be very close. According to one political writer, it will come down to about a million people who live in the battleground states whose highest education is a high school diploma. What if there is no clear Electoral College winner? What if neither candidate gets the necessary 270 electoral votes to win the presidency? Understanding what happens next according to the Constitution may be important.

The last time there was a question of the winner was in the 2000 presidential race between George W. Bush and Al Gore. The issue then was whether the ballots in Florida were correctly counted. You may remember the “hanging, dimpled or pregnant chads.” This question eventually ended with a decision of the U.S. Supreme Court awarding Florida’s 25 electoral votes to George W. Bush. Although

Gore had won the popular vote, Bush had won the all-important electoral vote by a margin of 271 to Gore’s 266.

What if neither Obama nor Romney gets the required 270 electoral votes to win? That problem is technically possible in this election. According to the Constitution:

“If no candidate receives a majority of Electoral votes, the House of Representatives elects the President from the 3 Presidential candidates who received the most Electoral votes. Each state delegation has one vote” (Office of the Federal Register, from the 12th Amendment).

The last time this occurred was in the presidential election of 1876, 11 years after the Civil War. White southern Democrats had terrorized and intimidated Republican voters through violence to the point where 250,000 citizens had been prevented from voting. Southern Democrats won the election and regained control of all but three of the southern states: Louisiana, Florida and South Carolina. Republicans contested the electoral vote tallies of those three states. This put the winner of the election in dispute.

Samuel Tilden, a Democrat, had won the popular vote in this election, but he did not have enough electoral votes. Rutherford Hayes was his Republican opponent. Since no candidate had won enough electoral votes to gain the presidency, the decision was thrown into the House of Representatives.

The House formed a committee of eight Republicans and seven Democrats. The vote went to Hayes, but knowing the Democrats would be furious, a political deal was reached called the Compromise of 1877.

In accordance with this compromise, the Republicans removed federal occupying troops from the South, leaving the fate of the former slaves in the hands of white southerners. As a result of this political deal, blacks were legally segregated and most lost their voting rights until the mid-1960s.

White southerners as a body abandoned the Democratic Party after segregation ended and black voting rights were restored in the 1960s. Since that time a majority of Southern whites have voted Republican.

Could there be a case where neither candidate won the election again? It’s statistically possible, but very remote. It can be seen though, that the era in which we live is not as divided, nor as politically ruthless, as it was 12 years after the Civil War. For that we can be thankful.

More in Opinion

America is denying three hard truths

There are three major hard truths that our current government has been denying with great vigor: The Mueller Russia-U.S. Presidential election connection investigation, the war in Afghanistan, and the growing national deficit.

Promote the common good by ensuring individual liberty

Citizens following their passions and dreams improve the lot for all.

The three personas of President Trump

There’s Teleprompter Trump, Raw Meat Trump and Twitter Trump.

Carbon pricing won’t help environment, but will hurt taxpayers

How would a Washington carbon tax make a difference in the world “climate?”

It’s never enough

Based on numbers from the legislature, Enumclaw School District will be receiving huge funding increases from the state. Yet here we are with Enumclaw and a bunch of other districts telling the taxpayers, give us more, we need more.

Why are trailers allowed at Expo Center?

When my husband and I moved to our home in 2001 and for every year after the Expo Center grounds have always been pleasant to look at on your way to our home. No longer is this true.

Columnist sheds light on Koch brothers

Our economy, along with our political system, is broken and indeed destroying our democracy.

Vote ‘yes’ on replacement Education Programs levy

As a high school senior that has spent the entirety of my school life in Enumclaw, I know we have to take it upon ourselves to ensure the efficiency and inclusiveness of our school system.

Concern for common good is buried by greed

Tell big lies long and loudly enough and people will believe you.

Enumclaw boys, join the scouts

Troop 422 here in Enumclaw has taught me these things, and it has allowed me to be able to incorporate these things into my own life.

Concessions may be needed to enact carbon pricing

This is the sixth year Gov. Jay Inslee will try to convince lawmakers that the best means of fighting climate change is by making it more expensive to pollute.

Humility allows for tolerance of other’s opinions

Each of us has grown up in different circumstances. Each has been shaped by our life experiences. Each of us sees the world around us differently as a result. Why, then, should it be so difficult to understand that no two people will agree on every issue?