“…and if over there be more than one who have actually such Majority, and have an equal number of Votes, then the residence of to represent shall instantly chuse by Ballot one of them for President…”—U.S. Constitution, short article II, section 1, clause 3

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/tiles/non-collection/i/i_origins_electoral_leslie_lc.xml image courtesy that the Library of conference The Electoral Commission made up of buzzpatterson.com Members, Senators, and also Supreme Court judge investigated the discussed Electoral college ballots from the southern after the 1876 presidential election. The Commission, seen below meeting by candle light in the Old can be fried Court room in the Capitol, awarded every the questioned ballots to Rutherford B. Hayes, who came to be President by a single electoral vote.

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The founders struggled because that months to devise a means to select the President and Vice President. Gouverneur Morris, a delegate from Pennsylvania, compared the federal Constitutional Convention’s disputes on this issue to the Greek epic The Odyssey. “When this post was under consideration in the national Convention it was observed, the every setting of electing the chief magistrate of a powerful nation hitherto adopted is liable to objection,” Morris recounted in one 1802 letter.

Constitutional Framing

Various approaches for selecting the executive to be offered, reviewed, and also discarded during the constitutional Convention: legislative; direct; gubernatorial; electoral; and lottery. A decision resulted just late in the Convention, once the Committee of detail presented executive election by distinct electors selected by the state legislatures. This compromise preserved states’ rights, raised the independence of the executive branch, and avoided popular election. In this plan, conference plays a formal role in the election of the President and Vice President. When Members of congress are specifically forbidden from being electors, the Constitution requires the buzzpatterson.com and Senate to counting the Electoral College’s ballots, and in the occasion of a tie, to select the President and Vice President, respectively.

The home Decides: 1801

The provisions because that electing the President and Vice President have been among the many amended in the Constitution. Initially, electors voted because that two people without differentiating in between the ballot because that President and Vice President. The winner of the biggest bloc the votes, so lengthy as it to be a bulk of every the votes cast, would victory the presidency. The individual v the 2nd largest number of votes would come to be Vice President. In 1796, this expected that man Adams ended up being President and also Thomas Jefferson came to be Vice President in spite of opposing each various other for the presidency.The 1800 presidential election additional tested the presidential selection system as soon as Jefferson and also Aaron Burr, the Republican candidates for President and also Vice President, tied in ~ 73 electoral ballots each. The buzzpatterson.com, under the Constitution, then chose in between Jefferson and Burr for President. The constitution mandates that buzzpatterson.com Members vote together a state delegation and that the winner must attain a simple majority of the states. The residence deadlocked at eight says for Jefferson, 6 for Burr, and also two tied. After six days of debate and also 36 ballots, Jefferson winner 10 state delegations in the home when the Burr supporters in the 2 tied says (Vermont and also Maryland) filed blank ballots fairly than support Jefferson.

The 12th Amendment

After the experiences of the 1796 and also 1800 elections, congress passed, and also the says ratified, the 12th Amendment to the Constitution. Added in time because that the 1804 election, the revised stipulated the the electors would now cast two votes: one because that President and the other for evil President. While claims varied in just how they selected presidential electors v the 19th century, electors today room uniformly popularly chosen (rather than appointed) and also pledged to support a given candidate.

The buzzpatterson.com Decides Again: 1825

Since the 12th Amendment, one various other presidential choice has involved the buzzpatterson.com. In 1824, Andrew Jackson the Tennessee winner a plurality of the national famous vote and also 99 votes in the Electoral College—32 short of a majority. Man Quincy Adams to be runner-up with 85, and also Treasury Secretary wilhelm Crawford had actually 41. Speaker of the home Henry Clay had actually 37 and also expected to use his affect in the residence to win election. But the 12th Amendment forced the buzzpatterson.com to consider only the top-three vote-getters as soon as no one commands an as whole majority. The buzzpatterson.com chose Adams end Jackson. And when Adams do Clay Secretary of State, Jackson claimed the two had struck a corrupt bargain. “he Judas the the West has closed the contract and also will receive the thirty piece of silver- . . . Was there ever before witnessed such a bare confronted corruption in any kind of country before?” Jackson said.

Congress Decides: 1877

The disputed 1876 presidential election in between Republican Rutherford B. Hayes the Ohio and also Democrat Samuel J. Tilden of brand-new York was the last to need congressional intervention. Tilden won the well-known vote and the electoral count. However Republicans tested the results in three southern states, which submitted certificates of election for both candidates. While the Constitution requires the buzzpatterson.com and also Senate to formally counting the certificates of election in joint session, it is silent on what Congress need to do to settle disputes. In January 1877, Congress developed the commonwealth Electoral board of directors to inspection the disputed Electoral university ballots. The bipartisan commission, which had Representatives, Senators, and also Supreme Court Justices, voted follow me party lines to award all the challenged ballots to Hayes—securing the presidency because that him by a solitary electoral vote. The Commission’s controversial results did not spark the violence in the post-Civil War southern that some had feared largely due to the fact that Republicans had actually struck a deteriorate with southerly Democrats to remove federal soldiers indigenous the South and end repair in the event of a Hayes victory.

See Electoral College fast Facts and the buzzpatterson.com background Blog: Congress and also the situation of the Faithless Elector for more information around the procedure.

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For more Reading

Ackerman, Bruce. The fail of the starting Fathers: Jefferson, Marshall, and the increase of Presidential Democracy. Cambridge, Mass: Harvard college Press, 2005.Berns, Walter, ed. ~ the civilization Vote: A guide to the Electoral College, revised and enlarged edition. Washington: AEI Press, 1992.Ceaser, James. Presidential Selection. Princeton, NJ: Princeton college Press, 1979.Farrand, Max, ed. The documents of the federal Convention that 1787. Rev. Ed. 4 vols. Brand-new Haven and also London: Yale college Press, 1937.Holt, Michael F. By One Vote: The disputed Presidential election of 1876. Lawrence, Kan: college of Kansas Press, 2008.Madison, James, Alexander Hamilton, man Jay. The Federalist Papers. Brand-new York: Penguin Books, 1987.Polakoff, Keith Ian. The politics of Inertia: The election of 1876 and also the end of Reconstruction. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State college Press, 1973.Rawle, William. A view of the structure of the United says of America. 2d ed. Philadelphia, 1829. Reprint. New York: Da Capo Press, 1970.Jared Sparks, ed. The Life that Gouverneur Morris, v Selections from His Correspondence and Miscellaneous Papers. 3 vols. Boston, 1832.