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The creation of the office of Vice President was a direct consequence of the Electoral College. Delegates to the Philadelphia Convention gave each state a number of presidential electors equal to that state’s combined share of House and Senate seats. Yet the delegates were worried that each elector would only favor his own state’s favorite son candidate, resulting in deadlocked elections that would produce no winners. To counter this presumed difficulty, the delegates gave each presidential elector two votes, required at least one of those votes be for a candidate from outside the elector’s state, and mandated that the winner of the election obtain an absolute majority with respect to the total number of electors.

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What Does The Vice President Do?  was originally published on

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