US election 2020: What happens if the result is a tie

WION Web Team
Washington, United States Published: Nov 04, 2020, 11:47 PM(IST)

Joe Biden and Donald Trump Photograph:( AFP )

Story highlights

As voters await the result of the final battle between Trump and Biden, questions have been raised about the possibility of a draw in the US election 2020

With just a few hours to go for the result of the US election 2020 to be announced, there is a possibility that the result of the presidential race between President Donald Trump and his Democratic rival Joe Biden could end up in a tie.

As voters await the result of the final battle between Trump and Biden, questions have been raised about the possibility of a draw in the US election 2020.

Also read| US election 2020: How are votes counted in the presidential election?

One flaw of the electoral college system is that it could produce a 269-269 tie in the US election.

While there are 538 electoral votes up for grabs, a draw is possible for 269 each, although very unlikely.

Also read: Trump criticises 'surprise ballot dumps' for lagging behind Joe Biden

However, if that occurs, a newly elected House of Representatives would decide the fate of the presidency on January 6, with each state's votes determined by a delegation, as required by the 12th Amendment of the US Constitution.

Meanwhile, the Senate would choose the vice-president, with all 100 senators having a vote.

Currently, Republicans control 26 state delegations, while Democrats control 22. Pennsylvania is tied between Democratic and Republican members. Michigan has seven Democrats, six Republicans, and one independent.

The composition of the House will change on November 3, when all 435 House seats are up for grabs.

Can they go to court?

Yes, both presidential candidates have the right to go to the Supreme Court.

The US election was plunged into chaos as President Donald Trump prematurely declared victory and sought Supreme Court intervention to stop vote-counting, even as his Democratic rival Joe Biden voiced confidence in his own chances.

Current position

As it stands, Biden has won 238 electoral votes and Trump a maximum of 213, based on the states they've so far won.

US media outlets have projected wins for the Republican incumbent in 23 states including big prizes Florida and Texas, as well as Indiana, Kentucky, Missouri, and Ohio -- all states he won in 2016.

Biden has captured 20 states including his home state Delaware and big prizes California and New York, as well as the US capital. The former vice president has flipped one state won by Trump in 2016 -- Arizona, in the southwest.

A tie has not been seen in modern times but the process was implemented in the 1800s, including in the election of 1800 between Thomas Jefferson and Aaron Burr.

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