The Chairman's Report October 16, 2020

The Chairman's Report October 16, 2020
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Many people have expressed legitimate concerns about the up-coming presidential election. Because of Covid-19, many more people may be using mail-in ballots and these ballots may take a lot more time to count.   A more thorough explanation of the data in this article is contained in the  After the People Vote document issued by AEI.


As most people know, the president is chosen by a vote of electors in the Electoral College.   When you vote for a presidential candidate, you are really voting for the electors in your state who are pledged to vote for the same candidate you did.  Under Article II and the 23rd Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, these electors will determine the new president and vice-president.  Each state has the same number of electors as they have members of the U.S. House and Senate.  The District of Columbia has three.

Except in Maine and Nebraska which have allocation procedures by Congressional districts, electors are chosen by popular vote within each state.  Whichever candidate wins the popular vote within the other 48 states, wins all of that state’s electors who are pledged to vote for that candidate in the electoral college.

Electors chosen to vote for one candidate can vote for another candidate (Renegade Electors).  Only 12 states require that a renegade elector be replaced by an elector who will vote for the candidate who won the state’s popular vote.  While there were only 27 Renegade Electors in Presidential elections up to 2016, there were seven in 2016.


There are a few exceptions, but generally states determine who their electors are by December 8, 2020.  Then, the electors chosen in all of the states will vote on December 14, 2020.

The 117th Congress will be sworn in on January 3, 2021 and on January 6, 2021, the electoral results are read to both the Senate and the House and, if there are no objections, the vote is ratified.

On January 20, 2021 the new president is inaugurated.


If no candidate receives a majority in the Electoral College (270 electoral votes), then the 12th Amendment to the Constitution sets forth the selection of the President and Vice President.

This is the relevant part:

From the persons having the highest numbers not exceeding three 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.

The person having the greatest number of votes as Vice-President, shall be the Vice-President, if such number be a majority of the whole number of Electors appointed, and if no person have a majority, then from the two highest numbers on the list, the Senate shall choose the Vice-President; a quorum for the purpose shall consist of two-thirds of the whole number of Senators, and a majority of the whole number shall be necessary to a choice. But no person constitutionally ineligible to the office of President shall be eligible to that of Vice-President of the United States.

It is important to note that if the House has to select the President, each state has one vote.  Therefore, the party that controls the majority of state delegations within the House is the party that will select the next President.  The House will consider up to three people for whom the electors have voted, but again, the vote will be by state.  If one party controls 26 or more state delegations, and they all agree on the same candidate, that party will elect the President regardless of who controls the overall majority of House Members.

In the Senate the Vice President will be chosen by a majority of the Senators.


The 20th Amendment provides that the terms of the president and vice-president end on January 20, 2021.  If the House has not chosen a President, but the Senate has chosen a Vice President, the Vice-President becomes acting president until the House, as described above, chooses the president.

However, if neither a President nor a Vice President has been chosen by January 20, then the Presidential Succession Act of 1947 applies.  It provides that the Speaker of the House—currently Nancy Pelosi—will serve as acting president, and if she cannot serve then the President Pro Tempore of the Senate—currently Chuck Grassley--will serve.  Of course the Speaker and President Pro Tempore may change in the new Congress.

If  the Speaker of the House or the President Pro Tempore of the Senate becomes acting President, they will have to resign from Congress.  Because the House and Senate must eventually select a President and Vice-President, any person serving as the acting president is only going to serve for a short time.

Therefore, the Speaker and the President Pro Tem may each choose to turn down the acting Presidency and remain in Congress.  In that case, the line of succession continues as follows until someone is willing to accept the acting Presidency: the Secretaries of State, Treasury, and Defense; the Attorney General; and the Secretaries of Interior, Agriculture, Commerce, Labor, Health and Human Services, Housing and Urban Development, Transportation, Energy, Education, Veterans’ Affairs, and Homeland Security.


There are a number of areas that can lead to controversy.  For example, if a state does not make the required deadlines for appointing electors, the president and vice-president could be chosen by a majority of the appointed electors.  In this case, a majority in the Electoral College would be less than 270 electoral votes.  This could lead to legal action regarding how that state certified its electors and that would go to the Supreme Court in the same way the Florida certification was decided in the 2000 election.


All of us, regardless of who we vote for, should fervently wish that the November 3, 2020 presidential election is decided peaceably and without drama.   We should all remember this statement from Abraham Lincoln:

“Elections belong to the people. It's their decision. If they decide to turn their back on the fire and burn their behinds, then they will just have to sit on their blisters.”
One thing’s for certain.  FAIRtax supporters will keep on working regardless of who is elected president.

If you have friends who don’t know about the FAIRtax send them to  Have them watch the white boards under “How It Works” and, if they agree, ask them to please join us.

Then contact your Members of Congress and the President and demand that Congress pass -the FAIRtax—the only fair tax.

Remember, if we don't continue to tell the truth and demand a change, then this quote from George Orwell's 1984 may foretell our children's future:

“If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face—forever.”

Is it hopeless?  When confronted with a seemingly impossible problem, remember the statement attributed to the author George Bernard Shaw who wrote, You see things; and you say “Why?”  But I dream things that never were; and I say “Why not?”

Isn’t it time for us to ask, “Why not?”
Thank you for staying FAIRtax strong!
Yours In Liberty!   Yours In Freedom!

Steve Hayes
Chairman, Americans For Fair Taxation

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