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Declaration of Independence
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Articles of Confederation
   Articles of Confederation and perpetual Union between the states. Agreed to by Congress 15 November 1777 In force after ratification by Maryland, 1 March 1781. More
 
Anti & Federalist Papers
   Both the Federalist (85 documents) & Anti-Federalist (85 documents) Papers. A study in the debate of the People in the days of the drafting of our Constitution. No serious student of the Constitution can be without both sides of the story. The 170 documents of the Federalist & AntiFederalist Papers are a must read. More
 
Constitution of the United States
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Constitution In Depth Study
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Bill of Rights
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Electoral College History Facts
 

 
The Electoral College is a controversial mechanism of presidential elections that was created by the framers of the U.S. Constitution as a compromise for the presidential election process. At the time, some politicians believed a purely popular election was too reckless, while others objected to giving Congress the power to select the president. The compromise was to set up an Electoral College system that allowed voters to vote for electors, who would then cast their votes for candidates, a system described in Article II, Section 1 of the Constitution.
 
Each state has a number of electors equal to the number of its U.S. senators (2 in each state) plus the number of its U.S. representatives, which varies according to the state's population. Currently, the Electoral College includes 538 electors, 535 for the total number of congressional members, and three who represent Washington, D.C., as allowed by the 23rd Amendment. On the Monday following the second Wednesday in December, the electors of each state meet in their respective state capitals to officially cast their votes for president and vice president. These votes are then sealed and sent to the president of the Senate, who on Jan. 6 opens and reads the votes in the presence of both houses of Congress. The winner is sworn into office at noon Jan. 20. Most of the time, electors cast their votes for the candidate who has received the most votes in that particular state. However, there have been times when electors have voted contrary to the people's decision, which is entirely legal.
 
2008 Election Facts
  • McCain won Nebraska but Obama earned an electoral vote by winning the popular vote in the 2nd Congressional District. This marked the first time that Nebraska has split its electoral vote since it went to an allocated system in 1992.
     
  • Popular vote totals generally gathered from state Certificates of Ascertainment and/or results posted directly by individual states.
     
  • Obama received more votes than any candidate in history. The prior record, about 62 million, was set in 2004 by George W. Bush.
     
  • Issues of the Day: Great Recession, Financial panic, Bailouts, Iraq War.
 
2004 Election Facts
  • Kerry won Minnesota; however one Elector cast a vote for Dem. Vice-President candidate John Edwards. It may have been unintentional, as this ballot also voted for John Edwards as Vice-President.
     
  • Bush and Kerry each received more votes than any candidates in history. The prior record, about 54.5 million votes, was set in 1984 by Ronald Reagan.
     
  • Electoral Vote changes for 2004 based on 2000 Census: [+2: AZ, FL, GA, TX], [+1: CA, CO, NV, NC],[-1: CT, IL, IN, MI, MS, OH, OK, WI], [-2: NY, PA]
     
  • Issues of the Day: Terrorism, Iraq War, Job growth.
 
2000 Election Facts
  • Outcome of race unknown for several weeks due to dispute over close vote totals in Florida.
     
  • Green Party candidate Ralph Nader received 2,882,728 votes, but no Electoral Votes.
     
  • Gore won DC; however one Elector did not cast a vote.
     
  • One of only 4 elections, and first in over 100 years (1824, 1876, 1888, 2000) where the popular vote winner was defeated.
     
  • Issues of the Day: Impeachment, Presidential ethics, Good economy.
 
1996 Election Facts
  • Reform Party candidate H. Ross Perot received 7,866,284 votes, but no Electoral Votes.
     
  • Issues of the Day: Waco standoff, Oklahoma City bombing, Good economy.
 
1992 Election Facts
  • California electoral votes now >10% of total; greatest concentration since New York in 1868.
     
  • Independent candidate H. Ross Perot received 19,741,065 votes, most ever for a 3rd party candidate, but no Electoral Votes.
     
  • Issues of the Day: Persian Gulf War, Fall of Berlin Wall and Breakup of Soviet Union, Recession.
 
1988 Election Facts
  • Dukakis won West Virginia; however one Elector cast a vote for Dem. Vice-President candidate Lloyd Bentsen. (with Dukakis as Vice-President)
     
  • Issues of the Day: Stock market crash, Iran-Contra, Progress in US-USSR relations (INF Treaty).
 
1984 Election Facts
  • Mondale's running mate, Geraldine A. Ferraro is first woman on a major party Presidential ticket.
     
  • Reagan received 525 Electoral Votes and over 54 million popular votes. The Electoral Vote total is a record that stands to this day.
     
  • Issues of the Day: Recession and Subsequent Recovery (start of bull market for stocks), Defense Spending.
 
1980 Election Facts
  • Independent candidate John B. Anderson received 5,719,437 votes, but no Electoral Votes.
     
  • Issues of the Day: Iran hostage crisis, USSR invasion of Afghanistan (Summer Olympics boycott), Inflation.
 
1976 Election Facts
  • Ford won Washington; however one Elector cast a vote for Ronald Reagan.
     
  • Issues of the Day: Watergate (Impeachment, pardon of Nixon).
 
1972 Election Facts
  • Based on 1970 census results, California replaces New York with most electoral votes.
     
  • 26th Amendment ratified in this cycle: 18 year olds allowed to vote.
     
  • Vice-Presidential Succession: Nixon resigned on August 9, 1974, and was replaced by Vice-President Gerald R. Ford.
     
  • Nixon won Virginia; however one Elector cast a vote for John Hospers.
     
  • Issues of the Day: Vietnam War, International Relations (Detente with USSR, Visit to China), Watergate.
 
1968 Election Facts
  • Wallace's tally of 46 marks the most recent election that a 3rd party candidate has won Electoral Votes.
     
  • Nixon won North Carolina; however one Elector cast a vote for Wallace.
     
  • Issues of the Day: Vietnam War, Civil Rights, Assassinations (Robert Kennedy, Dr. Martin Luther King).
 
1964 Election Facts
  • 23rd Amendment ratified in this cycle: Washington DC given electoral representation.
     
  • Number of Electors reaches 538; has remained there to this day.
     
  • Issues of the Day: Great Society (Civil Rights), Vietnam (Gulf of Tonkin), Good Economy.
 
1960 Election Facts
  • Welcome: Alaska and Hawaii become states during this election cycle.
     
  • Vice-Presidential Succession: Kennedy was assassinated on November 22, 1963, replaced by Lyndon B. Johnson.
     
  • Nixon won Oklahoma; however one Elector cast a vote for Byrd.
     
  • Alabama Electors split their vote: 6 for Byrd, 5 for Kennedy; Kennedy had won popular vote.
     
  • Kennedy is first Catholic, and youngest person ever elected President.
     
  • Issues of the Day: Sputnik/space (keeping up with USSR technologically).
 
1956 Election Facts
  • Stevenson won Alabama; however one Elector cast a vote for Walter B. Jones.
     
  • Issues of the Day: Communism/USSR (McCarty hearings, Hungary, Suez Canal), Brown Segregation Ruling.
 
1952 Election Facts
  • Issues of the Day: Korean War, Communism.
 
1948 Election Facts
  • 22nd Amendment ratified in this cycle: Limits Presidents to two elected terms.
     
  • Thurmond nominated by splinter group of Southern Democrats upset over Civil Rights in Democratic platform.
     
  • Progressive candidate Henry A. Wallace received 1,157,172 votes, but no Electoral Votes.
     
  • Truman won Tennessee; however one Elector cast a vote for Thurmond.
     
  • Issues of the Day: Marshall Plan, Berlin Airlift.
 
1944 Election Facts
  • Vice-Presidential Succession: Roosevelt died on April 12, 1945, replaced by Harry S. Truman.
     
  • Roosevelt becomes first (and only) President elected for a 4th consecutive term.
     
  • Issues of the Day: World War II.
 
1940 Election Facts
  • Roosevelt becomes first (and only) President elected for a 3rd consecutive term.
     
  • Issues of the Day: U.S. Neutrality in European Conflict.
 
1936 Election Facts
  • 20th Amendment ratified in this cycle: Inauguration day moves from March 4th to January 20th.
     
  • Issues of the Day: Great Depression (New Deal), Repeal of Prohibition.
 
1932 Election Facts
  • Roosevelt is a distant cousin of 26th President, Theodore Roosevelt.
     
  • Issues of the Day: Great Depression, Prohibition.
 
1928 Election Facts
  • Issues of the Day: Good Economy, Prohibition.
 
1924 Election Facts
  • Third party candidate Robert M. LaFollette won his home state of Wisconsin.
     
  • Issues of the Day: Good Economy, Corruption (Teapot Dome Scandal).
 
1920 Election Facts
  • Vice-Presidential Succession: Harding died on August 2, 1923, replaced by Calvin Coolidge.
     
  • 19th Amendment ratified in this cycle: Women are allowed to vote.
     
  • Harding first to receive more than ten million popular votes.
     
  • Issues of the Day: League of Nations, Prohibition, Women's Right to Vote (Suffrage).
 
1916 Election Facts
  • Hughes won West Virginia; however one Elector cast a vote for Wilson.
     
  • Issues of the Day: World War I (U.S. Neutrality).
 
1912 Election Facts
  • Welcome: Arizona and New Mexico become states during this election cycle.
     
  • Socialist Party candidate Eugene V. Debs received about 900,000 votes, but no Electoral Votes.
     
  • Taft's 8 Electoral Votes fewest ever for an incumbent.
     
  • Roosevelt won California; however two Electors cast votes for Wilson.
     
  • Issues of the Day: Trusts (Monopolies): The Standard Oil case of 1911; 16th Amendment (Federal Income Tax, ratified in 1913).
 
1908 Election Facts
  • Welcome: Oklahoma becomes a state during this election cycle.
     
  • Bryan won Maryland; however two Electors cast votes for Taft.
     
  • Issues of the Day: Bank Panic of 1907.
 
1904 Election Facts
  • Parker won Maryland; however one Elector cast a vote for Roosevelt.
     
  • Issues of the Day: Gold Standard, Panama Canal.
 
1900 Election Facts
  • Vice-Presidential Succession: McKinley died from an assassin's bullet on Sept. 14, 1901, replaced by Theodore Roosevelt.
     
  • Issues of the Day: Spanish-American War.
 
1896 Election Facts
  • Welcome: Utah becomes a state during this election cycle.
     
  • McKinley won California; however one Elector cast a vote for Bryan.
     
  • McKinley won Kentucky; however one Elector cast a vote for Bryan.
     
  • Issues of the Day: Monetary System (Gold, Silver Standards), Financial Panic of 1893.
 
1892 Election Facts
  • Welcome: Idaho, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Washington and Wyoming become states during this election cycle.
     
  • Grover Cleveland first (and only) President elected to a 2nd, non-consecutive term.
     
  • Harrison won Oregon; however one Elector cast a vote for Weaver.
     
  • Cleveland won California; however one Elector cast a vote for Harrison.
     
  • Harrison won Ohio; however one Elector cast a vote for Cleveland.
     
  • Michigan Electors split their vote: 9 for Harrison, 5 for Cleveland; Harrison had won popular vote.
     
  • North Dakota Electors split their vote: 1 each for Cleveland, Harrison and Weaver; Weaver had won the popular vote.
     
  • Issues of the Day: Farming Issues, Homestead Steel Strike.
 
1888 Election Facts
  • Harrison is grandson of 9th President, William Henry Harrison.
     
  • One of only 4 elections (1824, 1876, 1888, 2000) where the popular vote winner was defeated.
     
  • Issues of the Day: Free Trade vs. Protectionism.
 
1884 Election Facts
  • Issues of the Day: Personal Ethics of the Candidates.
 
1880 Election Facts
  • Vice-Presidential Succession: Garfield died from an assassin's bullet on Sept. 19, 1881, replaced by Chester A. Arthur.
     
  • Extremely close popular vote between candidates of the two major parties.
     
  • Hancock won California; however one Elector cast a vote for Garfield.
     
  • Issues of the Day: Tariffs, Implications of the end of Reconstruction.
 
1876 Election Facts
  • Welcome: Colorado becomes a state during this election cycle.
     
  • One of most controversial elections ever; Electoral Commission awarded it to Hayes.
     
  • One of only 4 elections (1824, 1876, 1888, 2000) where the popular vote winner was defeated.
     
  • Issues of the Day: Corruption, Financial Panic of 1873.
 
1872 Election Facts
  • Arkansas and Louisiana do not participate.
     
  • Greeley died after the election, but before vote of Electors; most of whom chose other Democrats.
     
  • Three votes that were still made for deceased Horace Greeley were not counted.
     
  • Issues of the Day: Corruption in Federal Government.
 
1868 Election Facts
  • Welcome: Nebraska becomes a state during this election cycle.
     
  • Mississippi, Texas and Virginia do not participate.
     
  • Issues of the Day: Reconstruction, Impeachment.
 
1864 Election Facts
  • Welcome: Kansas, Nevada and West Virginia become states during this election cycle.
     
  • Due to secession, southern states of Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia don't participate.
     
  • Vice-Presidential Succession: Lincoln died from an assassin's bullet on April 15, 1865, replaced by Andrew Johnson.
     
  • Admitted just prior to the election, Nevada ended up with only 2 Electoral Votes when the 3rd Elector was snowbound in Colorado. Since the new state's legislature had not yet met, no mechanism was in place to select a replacement.
     
  • Issues of the Day: Civil War.
 
1860 Election Facts
  • Welcome: Minnesota and Oregon become states during this election cycle.
     
  • Original 13 States control fewer than 50% of total Electoral Votes for first time.
     
  • Lincoln received only about 40% of the popular vote in a divided nation on the brink of Civil War.
     
  • New Jersey Electors split their vote: 4 for Lincoln, 3 for Douglas; Douglas had won popular vote.
     
  • Issues of the Day: Slavery (Dred Scott decision, Secession).
 
1856 Election Facts
  • Winner Buchanan received only about 45% of the popular vote.
     
  • John C. Fremont is first candidate of new Republican Party, organized largely around the opposition to slavery.
     
  • Issues of the Day: Slavery (Kansas-Nebraska Act, Bleeding Kansas).
 
1852 Election Facts
  • Welcome: California becomes a state during this election cycle.
     
  • Final Presidential election with a candidate of the Whig party.
     
  • Issues of the Day: Slavery (Compromise of 1850, Fugitive Slave Act).
 
1848 Election Facts
  • Welcome: Florida, Iowa, Texas and Wisconsin become states during this election cycle.
     
  • First Election Day using current date: Tuesday following first Monday in November.
     
  • Vice-Presidential Succession: Taylor died July 9, 1850, replaced by Millard Fillmore.
     
  • Issues of the Day: Slavery, War with Mexico.
 
1844 Election Facts
  • Issues of the Day: Texas Annexation.
 
1840 Election Facts
  • Vice-Presidential Succession: Harrison died on April 4, 1841, replaced by John Tyler.
     
  • Issues of the Day: Panic of 1837.
 
1836 Election Facts
  • Welcome: Arkansas and Michigan become states during this election cycle.
     
  • The Whig Party ran three regional candidates in this election in an unsuccessful strategy.
     
  • Issues of the Day: States' Rights.
 
1832 Election Facts
  • First Democratic convention is held as party evolves out of Democratic-Republican party.
     
  • Maryland Electors split their vote: 5 for Clay, 3 for Jackson, with 2 votes not cast; Clay had won popular vote.
     
  • Issues of the Day: National Bank Charter, Indian Removal Act.
 
1828 Election Facts
  • Maryland Electors split their vote: 6 for Adams, 5 for Jackson; Jackson had won popular vote.
     
  • New York Electors split their vote: 20 for Jackson, 16 for Adams; Jackson had won popular vote.
     
  • Adams won Maine; however one Elector cast a vote for Jackson.
  • Issues of the Day: Tariffs.
 
1824 Election Facts
  • Delaware moves from 4 back to 3 votes; and has maintained that number for 180 years.
     
  • No candidate received a majority of Electors, Adams elected by vote of House of Representatives.
     
  • 1st election where popular vote retained for history; eventual winner Adams received only about 32%.
     
  • Adams is the son of 2nd President, John Adams.
     
  • Delaware Electors split their vote: 2 for Crawford, 1 for Adams.
     
  • Illinois Electors split their vote: 2 for Jackson, 1 for Adams.
     
  • Louisiana Electors split their vote: 3 for Jackson, 2 for Adams.
     
  • Maryland Electors split their vote: 7 for Jackson, 3 for Adams, 1 for Crawford.
     
  • New York Electors split their vote: 26 for Adams, 5 for Crawford, 4 for Clay, 1 for Jackson.
     
  • Issues of the Day: Monroe Doctrine.
 
1820 Election Facts
  • Welcome: Alabama, Illinois, Maine, Mississippi and Missouri become states during this election cycle.
     
  • Monroe won every state; one Elector selected Adams so the result was not unanimous.
     
  • One Elector each from Mississippi, Pennsylvania and Tennessee died & those votes were not cast.
     
  • Monroe won New Hampshire; however one Elector cast a vote for Adams.
     
  • Issues of the Day: Slavery (Missouri Compromise).
 
1816 Election Facts
  • Welcome: Indiana becomes a state during this election cycle.
     
  • Issues of the Day: War of 1812.
 
1812 Election Facts
  • Welcome: Louisiana becomes a state during this election cycle.
     
  • New York replaces Virginia with most electoral votes; will hold #1 spot until 1972.
     
  • Maryland Electors split their vote: 6 for Madison, 5 for Clinton.
     
  • Issues of the Day: War of 1812.
 
1808 Election Facts
  • New York Electors split their vote: 13 for Madison, 6 for Clinton.
     
  • Madison won Maryland; however two Electors cast votes for Pinckney.
     
  • Madison won North Carolina; however three Electors cast votes for Pinckney.
     
  • Issues of the Day: Embargo Act.
 
1804 Election Facts
  • Welcome: Ohio becomes a state during this election cycle.
     
  • 12th Amendment ratified in this cycle: Electors cast one vote each for President & Vice-President.
     
  • Jefferson won Maryland; however two Electors cast votes for Pinckney.
     
  • Issues of the Day: Louisiana Purchase.
 
1800 Election Facts
  • During this election, Electors had 2 votes each for President, and all but one voted for both candidates in their party.
     
  • No candidate received a majority of electors, Jefferson elected by vote of House of Representatives.
     
  • Controversy over electoral tie vote led to passage of 12th Amendment.
     
  • One Elector in Rhode Island cast one of his votes for John Jay.
     
  • Maryland Electors split their vote, with 5 each for the Federalist and D-R candidates.
     
  • North Carolina Electors split their vote, with 8 votes for the D-R and 4 for the Federalist candidates.
     
  • Pennsylvania Electors split their vote, with 8 votes for the D-R and 7 for the Federalist candidates.
     
  • Issues of the Day: Alien & Sedition Acts, XYZ Affair, Relations with France.
     
  • Federal Capital moved from Philadelphia to Washington, DC in 1800.
 
1796 Election Facts
  • Federalist candidate (Adams) and the main D-R candidate (Jefferson). Electors had 2 votes each for President, and most voted for both candidates in their party.
     
  • Under the rules of the day, since Jefferson had 2nd most Electors, he was named Vice-President, despite being a different party than Adams.
     
  • Democratic-Republicans won North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Virginia, but one Elector in each state cast a vote for Federalist Adams.
     
  • Maryland Electors split their vote, with 7 Electors for Adams and 4 for Jefferson.
     
  • Welcome: Tennessee becomes a state during this election cycle.
     
  • Issues of the Day: Whiskey Rebellion, Jay's Treaty.
 
1792 Election Facts
  • Prior to 1804, each Elector cast two votes for President, effectively doubling the votes cast.
     
  • Each Elector selected Washington with one of his votes, effectively making him unanimous choice for President. By coming in 2nd, John Adams was named Vice-President.
     
  • Virginia's 21 Electoral Votes represents 15.9% of total. This is the greatest concentration for one state in history of the U.S.
     
  • Welcome: Kentucky & Vermont become states during this election cycle.
     
  • Issues of the Day: Militia Act of 1792.
 
1789 Election Facts
  • Prior to 1804, each Elector cast two votes for President, effectively doubling the votes cast.
     
  • Each Elector selected Washington with one of his votes, effectively making him unanimous choice for President. By coming in 2nd, John Adams was named Vice-President.
     
  • Two of 13 original Colonies (North Carolina and Rhode Island) had not ratified Constitution, and did not participate; New York did not choose Electors due to an internal dispute.
     
  • Issues of the Day: Ratification of U.S. Constitution.
    (Article II relates to the executive branch and selection of the president)
 
 

 
 

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