electoral college

Established in the Constitution by Article 2, Section 1, the Electoral College is how the United States elects its president and vice president. These offices are elected by "electors" who are chosen by popular vote on a state-by-state basis. In total, there are 538 electors, which equals the 435 members of the House of Representatives plus 100 senators and three additional electors from the District of Columbia.

In this passage, electors would vote for two people for president.  This proved to be problematic in the 1796 and 1800 elections, and it would need another amendment to the constitution to fix it (the Twelve Amendment).

In 1796, John Adams got the majority of the votes, but his party, the Federalists, also voted for a number of other people, which helped lead to Thomas Jefferson getting the second highest number.  Jefferson was from a different party, but yet, he became vice president.

In an effort to unify party voting, electors were encourage to vote the same party in 1800.  Voters expected Thomas Jefferson to be president and Aaron Burr as vice president, but in the end, the election was a tie.  It went to the House of Representatives, and Jefferson won the election.  When in office, Jefferson isolated Burr from any political discussion or policy decisions.
Annotated by bacraig on November 14, 2014
Wilson supported popular election of the executive (Passage 184), but this concept failed to win over delegates.  Here Wilson is proposing what will become the electoral college.
Annotated by bacraig on April 21, 2014