The Speaker of the House of Representatives shall, within the first five days of the session of the Legislature, in the presence of a majority of the members of the Legislature, open the returns furnished under Section 17-12-19 , ascertain and proclaim the result of such election, after which such returns shall be filed and kept in the office of the Secretary of State, subject to the inspection of any elector of the state. The person having the highest number of votes for either of the offices shall be declared duly elected; but if two or more shall have an equal and the highest number of votes for the same office, the Legislature, by joint vote, without delay, shall choose one of the persons for the office. The duty of the speaker and of the joint conventions, under this section, shall be purely ministerial.
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