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How is the House Speaker selected? The Constitution leaves this open.

The role of speaker is one of the few that appears in America’s founding document. The rules for picking one — and the powers of the office — are intentionally left vague. Instead, the rules have evolved over centuries. They’re more vulnerable to possible abuse or dysfunction. The House of Representatives will vote on Tuesday to elect a speaker.

A majority of the chamber, 218 votes, is usually needed to be elected speaker. The 1856 fight for speaker took two months, the longest in history, and was resolved with a plurality vote.