Now that Election Day is upon us, talk of a contested race is becoming more common. On Monday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi chimed in to give her thoughts on what could happen if the election is too close to call.
If Trump and Biden fight to a tie in the Electoral College, the result of the election could be decided by the House of Representatives. This is a possibility that Pelosi and other members of the House have been preparing for since at least September. She indicated that the House is prepared to take a “prominent role” in determining the winner of the election.
A tied election would come down to a vote in the House and would be decided by the party that has the most state delegations. While Democrats have control of the House, Republicans control the most state delegations with 26 to the Democrats’ 22. However, these numbers could change depending on the results of Tuesday’s elections.
“But let’s not worry about that right now,” Pelosi told NPR. “What we want to be ready for is a big vote tomorrow to dispel any thought other than that, on January 20, Joe Biden will be inaugurated president of the United States, that we will have a Democratic House and a Democratic Senate.”
The Republican and Democratic parties have both declared that they are ready for a prolonged legal battle if the election results are close. The Trump and Biden campaigns are already raising funds for the possibility that there would be litigation after Election Day.
“We’re ready. We’re prepared. We’ve been ready for a while because we see this irresponsibility of the president, his disrespect for the Constitution, for our democracy and for the integrity of our elections. So we’re ready for him,” Pelosi told NPR.
President Trump and Republicans have repeatedly cast doubt on the integrity of the 2020 election, claiming that widespread voter fraud could result in a Biden victory. On the other hand, Democrats are arguing that the Republicans are engaging in widespread voter suppression tactics designed to prevent minorities from casting their votes.
As it stands, neither party has provided definitive proof of widespread election tampering, but if the election results are close — which they will undoubtedly be — we can be sure that both sides will rush to the courts to contest the results. The outcome of the battle is impossible to know at this point, but it could stretch into December, when the Constitution requires that the matter be settled. Either way, the American public might be in for the long haul during this election season.
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