The Constitution of the United States went into effect March 4, 1789. The Electoral College, as prescribed in Article II, Section 1, elected George Washington president that same year, with 69 votes. Washington was re-elected with 132 votes in 1792. John Adams received the second-most votes, thus winning the vice-presidency, both times.
Presidential elections worked smoothly all the way up to the vote in 1800. Thomas Jefferson and Aaron Burr each received 73 votes, sending the election to the House of Representatives. (Jefferson thought he was running against John Adams; Burr was Jefferson’s intended vice-president.) The Constitution had not foreseen the possibility of a tie. After thirty-six votes, the House named Jefferson president and Burr vice-president.Continue reading “Electoral College Follies”