Pelosi prepping House to decide election if needed: report

The House speaker sent a letter to her Democratic colleagues and reminded them of the possibility, rare as it is.

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The Speaker of the House is preparing for the possibility that the House of Representatives will ultimately decide the presidential election.

If neither candidate wins the Electoral College, each state’s delegation would get a single vote, which is decided by an internal tally of each lawmaker in that designation. That means that the presidency could be decided by the party that has more delegates in the chamber.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi delivers remarks during a memorial service for Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg as she lies in state in Statuary Hall of the U.S. Capitol Saturday. Ginsburg is the first woman to lie in state at the Capitol. (Photo by Erin Schaff-Pool/Getty Images)

According to POLITICO, Nancy Pelosi sent a letter to House Democrats and reminded them of the possibility of this scenario, which hasn’t happened since 1876.

“The Constitution says that a candidate must receive a majority of the state delegations to win,” Pelosi wrote. “We must achieve that majority of delegations or keep the Republicans from doing so.”

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Republicans presently control 26 delegations over Democrats’ 22, with Pennsylvania tied and Michigan a 7-6 plurality for Democrats, and a 14th seat held by independent Justin Amash, also of Michigan.

According to the report, Pelosi has expressed worries about this rare possibility for weeks.

The concern will mean that Democrats will be spending time trying to turn particularly vulnerable House races in traditionally red states to blue. Resources are expected to be deployed to contests in Montana and Alaska.

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President Donald Trump has also started mentioning this prospect at his rallies.

“And I don’t want to end up in the Supreme Court and I don’t want to go back to Congress either, even though we have an advantage if we go back to Congress. Does everyone understand that?” Trump said at a rally in Pennsylvania on Saturday.

“I think it’s 26 to 22 or something because it’s counted one vote per state,” he continued, “so we actually have an advantage. Oh, they’re going to be thrilled to hear that.”

November’s election has already had a number of twists and turns; this scenario is simply another possibility for which Congress is preparing. The only way to avoid sending the presidential election results to the Supreme Court or to Congress is by an uncontested Electoral College win, which would be determined by a high voter turnout.

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