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Additional info for Amendment XII Presidential Election Process (Constitutional Amendments)

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Several members felt that there was a need to delay debate and that this proposed amendment was not necessary nor needed quickly. Still, other members used this debate as an opportunity to discuss the possibility of even eliminating the office of vice president altogether. M r. Dayton moved to strike out all which respected the appointment of a Vice President. He said the great inducements of the framers of the Constitution to admit the office of Vice President was, that, by the mode of choice, the best and most respectable man should be designated; and that the Electors of each State should vote for one person at least, living in a different State from themselves; and if the substance of the amendment was adopted, he thought the office had better be abolished.

Whatever the cause, the prompt ratification of the amendment by the States showed their realization of the necessity for such a measure. The Ratification Process in the States As soon as the final vote was taken in Congress the amendment was sent to the Governors of the States. Before the next month brought in the New Year five States had responded. Kentucky had given her assent; Virginia ratified with only one dissenting voice in the House; North Carolina had no opposition in the Senate and but eighteen negative votes in the House of Commons.

Alteration of the Amendment Mr. J. Clay, though in favor of the principle of the amendment, was of opinion that, as to some of its parts, it required alteration. ” Mr. [Philip] Van Cortlandt thought the amendment liable to objection. Mr. W. Campbell was in favor of the principle contained in the amendment. He considered to be the duty of this House, in introducing an amendment to the Constitution on this point, to secure to the people the benefits of choosing the President, so as to prevent a contravention of their will as expressed by Electors chosen by them; resorting to Legislative interposition only in extraordinary cases: and when this should be rendered necessary; so guarding the exercise of Legislative power, that those only should be capable of Legislative election who possessed a strong evidence of enjoying the confidence of the people.

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