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    John Adams receives Vermont's ballots for the 1792 presidential election

    John Adams Autograph Document Signed as "President of the Senate of the United States." One page, 8" x 10", Philadelphia, January 1, 1793. Prior to the addition of the Twelfth Amendment of the Constitution, each state elector was allowed two votes for president, but they could not specify for which position each vote was for. In this system, whichever candidate received the most votes was declared president and the runner-up was made vice president. In this document, the incumbent vice president, John Adams, as president of the Senate, confirms that he has received the votes of the electors of Vermont during the 1792 presidential election, in full: "Recd of Lot Hall Esqr a Packet certified by the Electors of Vermont to contain a List of their Votes for President and Vice President of the United States." Folds. Moderate toning along the left edge and at the text. Ink stain at the upper right corner.

    Presidential electors were chosen from the fifteen states; some were appointed by their state legislatures, others elected by popular vote. The vice president was elected independently of the president. On December 5, 1792, the electors cast two ballots as required by law. These were formally transmitted to Vice President Adams in his capacity as president of the U.S. Senate and it was his duty to count them.

    In February 1793, the electoral vote was tabulated by Congress. George Washington received every elector's ballot, giving him 132 votes and his second unanimous presidential election. Adams received 77 votes, including all three of Vermont's ballots (one elector declined to vote), while his opponent Clinton got 50.

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