By Jared Zacharias

ISBN-10: 0737741236

ISBN-13: 9780737741230

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Additional info for Amendment XII Presidential Election Process (Constitutional Amendments)

Sample text

They had intended the electors to use their independent judgment in electing the President. But it was already apparent that electors considered themselves bound to vote for the candidate of the political party they represented. . The Votes Are Counted By mail and by courier on horseback, the election returns finally began to reach Washington in December. Toward the end of the month, an unofficial tally disclosed a most upsetting state of affairs: Jefferson had seventy-three electoral votes, Burr also had seventy-three, Adams sixty-five, Pinckney sixtyone, and John Jay one.

Reproduced by permission of Random House, Inc. 55 Presidential Election Process voters to pick electors directly. In 1804, the first election under the amendment, this number doubled. By 1828, voters were directly choosing electors in twenty-one of the twenty-four states. Alongside the increased informal role for ordinary voters would come a decreased formal role for Congress in the presidential-selection process. By eliminating double-ballot rules apt to create electoral-college deadlocks and misfires, the Twelfth Amendment lessened the likelihood that any given presidential election would be decided by Congress.

Second, in the event no presidential candidate had an electoral-vote majority, the House could choose only among the top three vote-getters, rather than among the top five. This, too, shrank the domain over which the state-equality principle would operate. Several congressmen attacked the amendment for its obvious weakening of the influence of small states, and tiny Delaware in fact refused to ratify the amendment on these grounds. However, by 1803 politically savvy Americans had come to see that the nation’s deepest fissures ran not between big states and small states, but rather between free states and slave states.

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Amendment XII Presidential Election Process (Constitutional Amendments) by Jared Zacharias


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