ELECTORAL TIE: The possibility of a tie and who chooses the president

It's happened before and it could happen again. Here's what follows in the event of a tie.
Each candidate for president could earn 269 electoral votes.
It is possible for an electoral tie in the presidential election. Photo credit 270towin.com

ST. LOUIS, Mo (KMOX) -- The possibility of a tie in the race to the White House is possible and it has happened before. Here's how the election is decided in the event of a tie.

Not since the presidential election of 1800 has there been an electoral tie. At that time in history, the winner was decided on who obtained a majority of the Electoral College votes.

Interesting enough, the runner up would then become Vice President to the winner.

In 1800, the tie between Thomas Jefferson and Aaron Burr was decided by the House of Representatives. The constitution, at the time, gave full power to the House of Representatives to decide on a tie. On February 17, 1801 the House chose Thomas Jefferson to be President of the United States and by default, Aaron Burr became his vice president.

Map illustrates votes, by state, in the US Presidential election of 1800, late nineteenth century. It is broken down as votes for Aaron Burr, Thomas Jefferson, or 'Blank Ballot'.
Map illustrates votes, by state, in the US Presidential election of 1800, late nineteenth century. It is broken down as votes for Aaron Burr, Thomas Jefferson, or 'Blank Ballot'. Photo credit (Photo by Interim Archives/Getty Images)

That tie created a constitutional crisis that led to the 12th amendment to the Constitution of the United States, separating the contests for the offices of president and Vice president. The 12th amendment also requires the Senate to choose between the two top electoral v