The topic of discussion for the Constitution Monday comes from the Twelfth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States: “… if no person [obtains a] majority, then from the persons having the highest numbers not exceeding here on the list of those voted for as President, the House of Representatives shall choose immediately, by ballot, the President. But in choosing the President, the votes shall be taken by states, the representation from each state having one vote; a quorum for this purpose shall consist of a member or members from two-thirds of the states, and a majority of all the states shall be necessary to a choice....”
If none of the candidates receives a majority of the electoral votes, the right and responsibility to choose the next President of the United States goes to the House of Representatives.
W. Cleon Skousen stated, “… so long as there are only two political parties, one of the candidates will receive a majority of the electoral votes. However, if there were several parties, the House of Representatives might select the President most of the time.” (See The Making of America – The Substance and Meaning of the Constitution, p. 716.)
Charles Fried of The Heritage Foundation explained, “Most presidential elections have not generated Twelfth Amendment controversy. However, the provisions of the Amendment have surfaced from time to time, most commonly when a third-party candidate threatens to take a substantial percentage of the vote….” (See The Heritage Guide to the Constitution, p. 378.)