Front Page Titles (by Subject) B.: AMENDMENT XII (1804) - Liberty, Order, and Justice: An Introduction to the Constitutional Principles of American Government
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B.: AMENDMENT XII (1804) - James McClellan, Liberty, Order, and Justice: An Introduction to the Constitutional Principles of American Government 
Liberty, Order, and Justice: An Introduction to the Constitutional Principles of American Government (3rd ed.) (Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 2000).
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AMENDMENT XII (1804)
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 of 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.
This Amendment is an example of how custom and usage have changed the Constitution. The Framers expected electors to be independent, distinguished citizens, but the rise of national political parties changed the character of the Electoral College.
By the election of 1800, Electors had come to be the party faithful, pledged to vote for their party’s candidate. In this election, the Jeffersonian Republicans held a majority in the Electoral College. They voted without indicating their choice for President and Vice President, as Article II, Section 3 prescribed, but because they were voting along party lines, Thomas Jefferson and Aaron Burr received the same number of votes, even though Burr was the vice presidential candidate. The issue was settled by the House of Representatives, which gave the presidency to Jefferson.
The Twelfth Amendment was designed to prevent a recurrence of this situation by requiring Electors to cast separate votes for President and Vice President.