What is the 12th Amendment of the US Constitution?

What is the 12th Amendment of the US Constitution?
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The 12th amendments of the US constitution are all about the election of the President and Vice President of the United States of America. The 12th amendment to the United States Constitution provides the procedure for electing the President and Vice-President as well. It was passed by the Congress on the 9th of December,1803. Ratified June 15 1804. A portion of Article II, Section 1 of the US constitution was changed by the 12th amendment and a portion of the 12th amendment was also changed by the 20th amendment.

The American presidential election is an election that is characterised by series of processes and stages, the rigorous processes are done to elect the President and Vice-President of the United States. The 12th amendment is just giving us more insight into their election proper by the electors.

The 12th Amendment annotations: Election of the President

According to constitution.findlaw.com, the amendment which supersedes clause 3 of Sec. 1 of Article II, so as to avoid what happened in the election of 1800 in which Jefferson and Burr received tie votes in the electoral college, thereby throwing the selection of the US President to the House of Representatives, despite the fact that the electors had intended Jefferson to be President and Burr as the Vice-President. The difference between the procedure which it defines and that which was laid down originally is in the provision it makes for a desperate designation by the electors of their choices for President and Vice-President respectively.

The Complete process and exegesis

The electors will vote by ballot for President and Vice President from their respective states. They shall not be an inhabitant of the same state with themselves, they shall inscribe in their ballots, the person voted for as President and in a distinct ballot, the person voted for as Vice President. They shall make a comprehensive list of all persons voted for as President and also a comprehensive list of all persons voted for as Vice President. They shall also have the number of votes for each, they shall sign and certify the lists, and transmit sealed to the seat of the government of the United States, which will be directed to the President of the Senate.

The Position of the Senate and the House of Representatives in choosing the President

The President of the Senate shall in the presence of the Senate and House of Representatives, open all the certificates and the votes will be counted, the person having the highest number of votes for President will be pronounced as the President, if the number of votes be the majority of the whole number of Electors appointed; if there is no person having the majority votes, then from the persons having the highest number not exceeding three on the list of those voted for as President, the House of Representative shall choose immediately by ballot, the President.

The votes shall be taken by states in choosing the President, the representation by each state having one vote, a quorum shall be formed by the members by the two-third majority of the states. The majority of all the states shall be the people’s choice. If the House of Representatives cannot choose a President when it is demanded by law or otherwise, before the fourth day of March next following, then the Vice-president will be vested with the powers to act in full capacity of the President, as in the case of the death, inability to function or other incompetencies that may be spelt out by the US constitution of the President.

The Process of electing the Vice-President

The person with the highest number of votes as Vice-President shall be pronounced the Vice-President, if such number of votes, be the majority of the whole number of Electors appointed, and if by chance there is no majority, then from the two highest number in the list, the Senate shall choose the Vice-President and a quorum shall be formed which will consist of two-third majority of the senators and their choice shall be the preferred choice of others. If there is anyone who is constitutionally not eligible for the office of the President, shall also be ineligible for the office of the Vice-President as well.

Why the 12th Amendment?

The election has been going smoothly during the years, but there was a rising need as touching the American presidential election that the US constitution that was in use then was devoid of the pertinent provision. The 12th amendment was introduced to US constitution which provides the procedures for electing the President and Vice-President, the 12th amendment also replaced a portion in the constitution where the electoral college had initially functioned. The 12th amendment it’s just like another and a new template and manuscript where the electoral college will start functioning properly.


This 12th amendment provides the procedure for electing the US President and Vice-President as clearly inscribed in the US constitution. It replaced the procedure provided in Article  II, Section I, Clause 3, by which the electoral college originally functioned. Amendments are very necessary so it could bring out efficiencies and competency. As the days go by, certain things will definitely change, such as policies, population, to mention but a few, and these things will be constitutionally recorded to meet the common needs of the US citizens which will really have a direct or an indirect impact in electing the US President and Vice-President.


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