If no candidate for President receives a majority of the electoral votes (in Electoral College), election is determined by the House of Representatives. In this event, the House is limited to choosing from among no more than the three candidates who received the most electoral votes. Delegation of each state has one vote, it votes collectively. In order to win, a candidate must receive an absolute majority of state delegation votes. Contingency procedure for election of President by the House was applied only twice: in 1801 and 1825. Therefore, it is one of the lesser-known functions of the lower house of Congress. This procedure has never been the subject of a Supreme Court judgment. Apart from the most important procedural aspect, an analysis of the contingency procedure for Presidential election should also take in account a wide constitutional aspect, considering its relations with basic constitutional principles and the problem of legitimacy of a President elected by the House of Representatives.
Tomasz Wieciech, Uniwersytet Jagiellonski, Wydzial Studiow Miedzynarodowych i Politycznych, ul. Jablonowskich 5, 31-114 Krakow, Poland
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