Suppose a President-Elect Dies Before Inauguration?

I assume if he dies before the electoral college votes, that they’re free to vote for whoever they want. (I don’t know how that plays out in states which bind them to the winner of the votes in that state.)

But what about if he dies between the electoral college voting and the inauguration? Can the EC electors vote again? Or does it go to the House? Or does the VP-elect get the nod? Something else?

From the Twentieth Amendment:

I didn’t realize that case was written into the amendment. Dumb question, in that case, and thanks for pointing it out.

millions of Americans sigh with relief?

Moderator Note

E-DUB, political jabs are not permitted in General Questions. No warning issued, but do not do this again.

Colibri
General Questions Moderator

There is the precedent of the 1872 election, where President Grant ran for re-election against Horace Greeley. Grant won a clear victory in the popular vote, giving him 286 electoral votes (177 needed to win).

In the ordinary course, Greeley would have got 66 electoral votes, based on the popular vote, but he died shortly after the election and before the electoral votes were cast.

When the electors cast their ballots, 3 voted for Greeley anyway. The other 63 scattered, casting votes for four different candidates for President, and eight different candidates for Vice-President.

When the votes were counted in Congress, the three votes for Greeley were disallowed. Technically, the runner-up to Grant in the electoral college was Thomas Hendricks, who eventually served (briefly) as V-P to President Cleveland.

Need answer fast?