Twelfth Amendment: Election Of President

Election of President

This Amendment, which supersedes clause 3 of § 1 of Article II, was adopted so as to make impossible the situation occurring after the election of 1800 in which Jefferson and Burr received tie votes in the electoral college, thus throwing the selection of a President into the House of Representatives, despite the fact that the electors had intended Jefferson to be President and Burr to be Vice-President. The difference between the procedure which it defines and that which was laid down originally is in the provision it makes for a separate designation by the electors of their choices for President and Vice-President, respectively. As a consequence of the disputed election of 1870, Congress has enacted a statute providing that if the vote of a State is not certified by the governor under seal, it shall not be counted unless both Houses of Congress concur.


A number of provisions of the Amendment have been superseded by the Twentieth Amendment.

Cunningham, Election of 1800, in 1 HISTORY OF AMERICAN PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS 101 (A. Schlesinger ed., 1971).

3 U.S.C. § 15.