Presidential Elections

The Electoral College

What were some early flaws in the electoral college?

Though the electoral college system worked in theory, it was flawed in practice. It did not take into account the fact that political parties and their distinct ideologies would enter into politics at the national level. Under the original system, each elector cast two votes for president (and they had to be for different candidates) and no vote for vice president. The candidate who received the most votes was elected president, provided it was a majority of the number of electors, and the runner-up automatically became vice president. While this early voting method worked for the elections of 1789 and 1792, problems arose with the election of 1800.


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