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Tally of 1800 Presidential Election - Tied Vote

This image depicts the tally of electoral votes for the presidential election of 1800. At the time, America had 16 states.

Although the Democratic-Republicans defeated the Federalists, in the election at large, Thomas Jefferson and Aaron Burr—both Democratic-Republicans—each received 73 electoral votes. (This happened because of a flaw in the design of the Electoral College).

As a result of this development, the House of Representatives had to decide who (of these two men) would become President and who would become Vice-President.

After 35 ballots, cast over five days, Jefferson and Burr were still tied.

Not until Alexander Hamilton persuaded his Federalist colleagues to vote for Jefferson—whom he thought would be a better President than Burr—was the tie broken. Jefferson was chosen on the 36th ballot.

Thereafter, Congress proposed a 12th Amendment, to the U.S. Constitution, to correct the flaw in the Electoral-College voting process. Curators at the National Archives tell us how that change occurred:

The tie vote between Jefferson and Burr in the 1801 Electoral College pointed out problems with the electoral system.

The framers of the Constitution had not anticipated such a tie nor had they considered the possibility of the election of a President or Vice President from opposing factions - which had been the case in the 1796 election.

In 1804, the passage of the 12th Amendment corrected these problems by providing for separate Electoral College votes for President and Vice President.

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Author: Carole D. Bos, J.D. 5124stories and lessons created

Original Release: Jan 28, 2016

Updated Last Revision: Nov 25, 2016


Media Credits

Image, described above, online via the U.S. National Archives. Tally of Electoral Votes for the 1800 Presidential Election, February 11, 1801. Public Domain.

 

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"Tally of 1800 Presidential Election - Tied Vote" AwesomeStories.com. Jan 28, 2016. Dec 14, 2017.
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