2012 election results: What happens if the Electoral College ties at 269 votes for Romney and Obama

The talk of 2012 election is all about the Electoral College.

The Electoral College is established in the U.S. Constitution. Each state is given a number of electors equal to the number of members in its Congressional delegation: one for each member in the House of Representatives plus two for their Senators, according to the National Archives.

There are 538 electors. A majority of 270 electoral votes is required to elect the President.

While it's not likely, what happens if both Mitt Romney and Barack Obama win 269 votes?

ABC News and Yahoo said the incoming Congress in January would act as the final tie-breaker to decide the election, with the House of Representatives choosing the next president and the Senate selecting the vice president.

But it's not as simple as you'd think.

In the House of Representatives, each person does not get a vote. The vote is by state delegation. Each state's delegation casts one vote for the next president -- so one vote per state.

Republicans currently hold the majority of 33 state delegations in the House, and the upcoming election isn't expected to result in significant changes to the partisan majorities of state delegations. So, in this scenario, Mitt Romney would almost certainly win the vote and become the next president.

The vote is different in the Senate. There, each senator gets one vote in deciding on the next vice president. Democrats hold a slight majority in the current Senate, meaning Joe Biden could be elected Vice President.

If the current election tips the scale in the U.S. Senate in the Republicans' favor or if there is a 50-50 partisan split, the president of the Senate would be the tie-breaking vote. That means Vice President Joe Biden, who conveniently happens to be the president of the Senate, would be called in to vote for himself.

Learn more on Yahoo and the National Archives website .

Print this article Back to Top