The 12th amendment was passed by Congress December 9, 1803. Ratified June 15, 1804. The 12th Amendment changed a portion of Article II, Section 1. A portion of the 12th Amendment was changed by the 20th Amendment.
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.
Take a fresh look at the Constitution of United States; Article II. Section 1.
Clause 2: Each State shall appoint a number of Electors.
Clause 3: The Electors shall meet in their respective States and vote by Ballot for two Persons.
Now, look at 12th Amendment.
The Electors shall meet in their respective States and vote by Ballot for President and Vice-President.
Instead of Two Persons, the 12th Amendment says distinct ballots for President and Vice-President.
In the original constitution; in the 12th amendment; it is very clear that the Election of the President and Vice-President is a two step process.
And it is also clear that, what is the first step and what is the second step.
As per the Constitution of United States, the first step is,
1. Appointment of Electors.
The second step is,
2. The Electors vote by ballot for President and Vice-President.
In practice, we do not follow this sequence.
In practice, people elect the President and that President-elect appoint Electors.
If we amend the Constitution to fit the current practice into it, then the amendment would be:
- The people of the State elect the President and Vice-President with a single vote.
- The President-Elect and Vice-President-Elect would appoint the Electors.
- The Electors would meet in their respective states and sign the certificate. They will not get to vote; no Two Persons; no distinct ballot for President; no distinct ballot for Vice-President.
The current practice doesn't fit into the original constitution or into any amendments.
Do we follow the Constitution of United States or the constitution of some other nation.
Thank Goodness! If any judge interprets the law, in this way, the judge may punish innocents and let go the guilty.
Either follow the Constitution or hide it somewhere.
What is the problem in following the Constitution?
Let the People of the States, elect their Presidential Electors. Let the people complete the first step.
Then, the Elected Presidential Electors meet and vote by distinct ballot for President and Vice-President.
Why do we need to cheat ourselves. Why don't be truthful to the Constitution?
Don't we trust the people?
Don't we trust the Presidential Electors?
All those popular individuals are just individuals. Those individuals, right now, don't have any constitutional authority to appoint a list of Electors for any state.
Appointment of Electors is the State responsibility.
Appointment of Electors is the constitutional responsibility of the Secretary of State.
In California, the appointment of Electors is the constitutional responsibility of Alex Padilla.
For centuries; perhaps right from the beginning; the President had been elected by popular vote only; not by the Electors.
At least once, let us try to adopt, honor, respect and follow the Constitution.
At least once, let the people elect the Presidential Electors.
At least once, let us have the names of the Electors in the ballot.
At least once, let people know their Electors.
At least once, let us not have the names of those popular individuals.
One thing is clear; if you need to continue with the current practice, you need to amend the Constitution.
But certainly, you cannot continue having those popular individual names in the ballot and make the Electors dummy and ineffective.
It is not about this election or the next election. You are being a model for the Future Generations.
Till now, people did not have access to all these highly valuable, historical documents. Now they are easily accessible. It will be much easier for next generations. They would certainly laugh at you.
So, it is better, let us fix it now and build the future, now.