What if there is a tie in a state’s popular vote?

While there are a number of states that have no provisions to determine who would win that state’s electors in the event of a tied popular vote, many states have specific statutes that deal with the possibility of a tie vote. The most common way to deal with a tie vote is to simply draw lots – i.e. randomly select a candidate (perhaps through a coin toss). By our count, there are at least 15 states that resolve tied presidential elections through the casting of lots. Some states require that the state legislature choose the winning candidate, while other states give the authority to the governor. In any case, the chance of a state popular vote resulting in a tie is incredibly unlikely. The closest major race in modern American history was the 1974 U.S. Senate race in New Hampshire, where the Republican won by a mere 2 votes. There has not, however, been any major federal race that has resulted in a tie by our count. A full accounting of each state’s tied votes can be found here.

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