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What was the purpose of the 12th Amendment?

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Quick Answer

The purpose of the 12th Amendment to the United States Constitution was to fix the flaws in the presidential election process. It came about as a result of the election of 1800, according to USConstitution.net.

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What was the purpose of the 12th Amendment?
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Full Answer

According to Law.Cornell.edu, the 12th Amendment to the United States Constitution changed the election process by creating separate ballots for the offices of President and Vice President. Before the Amendment, nobody ran for Vice President; instead, the person who received the highest number of votes became the President and the person with the second highest became the Vice President.

The original system held up until the election of 1800, when Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, and Aaron Burr ran against each other. According to USConstitution.net, Jefferson and Burr each received 73 electoral votes, causing them to be tied for the highest number of votes. When a tie occurred, it was the job of the House of Representatives to break the tie. In 1800, the House of Representatives found it difficult to choose a President because the Federalists and Republicans could not come to an agreement. After many blocked ballots and disagreements, Jefferson won the Presidency. The prolonged stalemate revealed the flaws in the electoral system, and so Congress ratified the 12th Amendment on June 15, 1804, in time for the next election.

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