WASHINGTON, D.C. — The election conflict, if left unresolved by the Jan. 20 inauguration date, could leave the United States with neither Donald Trump or Joe Biden as the next sitting President.
Should neither candidate officially receive 270 electoral votes- whether by Congressional objection or any other scenario- the House of Representatives decides the President and Vice President. This has only happened twice in history- it was a mess in 1800, the 12th Amendment was added, and it was a much smoother process in 1824, but it hasn’t happened since.
Each of the 50 House delegations, separated by state, will have one vote, eliminating the Democratic advantage and allowing for a possible deadlock.
If the House fails to nominate a President, the elected Vice President will take over. That is, though, assuming that the House approves a Vice President and not a President, which is unlikely. This would bring a vote to the Senate floor to nominate a Vice President- another debate that could possibly never end.
Further down the rabbit hole, according to the President Succession Act of 1947, should the Senate be unable to elect a Vice President, the seat of the President of the United States would automatically be awarded to the current Speaker of the House- which would leave the country with a President Nancy Pelosi.