Pelosi Prepares House Democrats for Possible Vote If Electoral College Ties

September 28, 2020 Updated: September 28, 2020

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) is preparing House Democrats to vote if they are forced to decide the outcome of the 2020 presidential race, telling the Democratic caucus they must do everything possible increase their majority in the House and win control of more state House delegations.

In a letter to House Democrats on Sunday, Pelosi outlined a scenario in which neither Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden nor President Donald Trump wins the 270 electoral votes required to win a majority of the 538-vote Electoral College. She goes on to say if this happens, the new Congress would be required by the Constitution to decide the winner of the presidency in January.

The situation Pelosi described has not happened since 1876, in which every state’s delegation gets a single vote, as outlined in by the 12th Amendment.

Pelosi quoted Trump’s comment at his rally on Sept. 26 about the possibility of the House deciding the outcome of the November election if there would be a tie. Pelosi said in the current Congress, the GOP controls a “razor-thin majority” of delegates.

“Instead of giving every member of Congress a vote, the 12th Amendment gives each state one vote, which is determined by a vote of the state’s delegation,” wrote Pelosi. “In other words, how many state delegations the Democrats win in this upcoming election could determine who our next president is.”

Rep. Doug Collins (R-Ga.), responding to the news of Pelosi’s letter to Democrats, wrote on Twitter: “@SpeakerPelosi is already lining up her troops to decide the results of the November election. A quick reminder to my Democratic colleagues: The American people have not even voted yet!”

In her announcement to the Democrats, she made it clear that all hands need to be on deck to ensure a win in the Nov. 3 election or beyond.

“Because we cannot leave anything to chance, House Majority PAC is doing everything it can to win more delegations for Democrats,” wrote Pelosi.

“That is why it’s important that we support House Majority PAC right now. We have outstanding candidates in these key districts and they have built strong campaigns, but we must forcefully ensure they win.  Simply put this strategy to protect our democracy and elect Joe Biden will take an all-out effort and resources,” Pelosi continued.

During an interview with MSNBC Monday, Pelosi criticized the president for his comment at his rally on Saturday and said, “So, I had been working on this for a while.  I’ve been working on almost every scheme he might have to steal the election.”

“Because let’s just say this—anything we do to increase our number in the House of state delegations or Members of Congress, wherever they are, will help us hold the House, enlarge our size, win the Senate and elect Joe Biden President of the United States on election day, or the few days that it takes to count thereafter,” Pelosi added.

At the rally, Trump told his supporters that he prefers to avoid the election being decided by the Supreme Court or Congress but if it happens, they hold an advantage right now.

“I don’t want to go back to Congress either, even though we have an advantage if we go back to Congress,” Trump said. “It’s counted one vote per state. So, we actually have an advantage.”