Members are not required to vote for one of the candidates nominated by each major party (oreven for some other candidate formally nominated on the floor); they may vote for anyindividual. Although the U.S. Constitution does not require the Speaker to be a Member of the House, all Speakers have been Members. However, some individuals not serving in the House have received votes.
The long-standing practice of the House is that electing a Speaker requires a numerical majority of the votes cast by Members “for a person by name.” This does not mean that an individual must necessarily receive a majority (currently 218) of the full membership of the House. This is because some Members may choose not to vote and others may answer “present
If no candidate receives the requisite majority of votes cast, the roll call is repeated. No restrictions are imposed on who may receive votes in the subsequent ballots. (For instance, no candidate is eliminated based on receiving the fewest votes in the floor election, and a Member’s vote is not limited to individuals who received votes in previous ballots.