Nobody Wins

What happens if Obama and Romney tie in the Electoral College?

Brooks Kraft / Corbis for TIME

Vice President Joe Biden and President Barack Obama at a campaign rally in Dayton, Ohio (left) and Republican VP candidate Paul Ryan and Mitt Romney at a campaign rally in Lancaster, Ohio.

It's the morning after the Nov. 6 election, and Americans who went to bed dreaming of a new start in Washington are waking up to a Nov. 7 nightmare. Neither Barack Obama nor Mitt Romney has won the 270 Electoral College votes required by the Constitution to claim the presidency: it's a 269-269 tie. Lawyers for both candidates strut across TV screens chased by reporters while experts on the Constitution struggle to explain what happens next. The country braces for a repeat of the disputed 2000 election in Florida--this time on a national scale.

The math works like this: Romney wins...

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