Tuesday, November 30, 2010

12th Amendment Artwork

"The Electors shall meet in their respective states, and vote by ballot for President and Vice-President, one of whom, at least, shall not be an inhabitant of the same state with themselves; they shall name in their ballots the person voted for as President, and in distinct ballots the person voted for as Vice-President, and they shall make distinct lists of all persons voted for as President, and all persons voted for as Vice-President and of the number of votes for each, which lists they shall sign and certify, and transmit sealed to the seat of the government of the United States, directed to the President of the Senate.

The President of the Senate shall, in the presence of the Senate and House of Representatives, open all the certificates and the votes shall then be counted.
The person having the greatest Number of votes for President, shall be the President, if such number be a majority of the whole number of Electors appointed; and if no person have such majority, then from the persons having the highest numbers not exceeding three on the list of those voted for as President, the House of Representatives shall choose immediately, by ballot, the President. But in choosing the President, the votes shall be taken by states, the representation from each state having one vote; a quorum for this purpose shall consist of a member or members from two-thirds of the states, and a majority of all the states shall be necessary to a choice. And if the House of Representatives shall not choose a President whenever the right of choice shall devolve upon them, before the fourth day of March next following, then the Vice-President shall act as President, as in the case of the death or other constitutional disability of the President.
The person having the greatest number of votes as Vice-President, shall be the Vice-President, if such number be a majority of the whole number of Electors appointed, and if no person have a majority, then from the two highest numbers on the list, the Senate shall choose the Vice-President; a quorum for the purpose shall consist of two-thirds of the whole number of Senators, and a majority of the whole number shall be necessary to a choice. But no person constitutionally ineligible to the office of President shall be eligible to that of Vice-President of the United States."
- 12th Amendment of the United States Constitution

After reading the twelfth amendment I see that it outlines a couple of important things:

(a) the twelfth amendment requires separate electoral ballots for the president and vice president. This was created because, during the election of 1800 Thomas Jefferson & Aaron burr were going against the federalists, Jefferson & burr won, but they each received 73 electoral votes and the house of representatives had to re-vote 35 times until on the 36th ballot Jefferson won. This happened because during that time the 2 people that got the highest votes were president and vice president, even if they were in different political parties (we spoke about this incident in class).
(b) the twelfth amendment provides the procedure by which the President and Vice President are elected. It replaced the procedure of the Electoral College under Article II, Section 1, Clause 3, which demonstrated problems in the elections of 1796 and 1800, as mentioned earlier with the election of 1800. The twelfth amendment was proposed by the Congress on December 9, 1803 and was ratified by the requisite number of state legislatures on June 15, 1804.

I am glad that the twelfth amendment was put into place because there were too many problems that had the possibility of occurring without it. My primary example is that of the election of 1800 where re-votes had to take place because the winners of the election for the office of president and vice president were of different political parties. 

I thought this comic strip would be interesting for the twelfth amendment. The DCU version of the United States Constitution has a twelfth amendment which, under some circumstances, allows witnesses to give an alias rather than a real name when testifying in court. Even though this image does not correlate with the twelfth amendment we are speaking of, I thought it would be a fun way of reintroducing the twelfth amendment.

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