12th Amendment and President and Vice Presidents from same states

  • The 12th Amendment states

    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

    Does this mean that if a President and a Vice President were to come from the same state, they could not constitutionally receive any votes from their home state?

    I don't mean to be flippant, but how could it possibly mean anything else?

  • The 12th Amendment is saying that the President and Vice President need to come from different states - not that the electors cannot vote for the "home state" candidate. Indeed, on average, most candidates receive their home state votes, and for much of the 19th century, this regional advantage was often considered when choosing candidates.

    In fact, this was actually an issue in the election of 2000. While Dick Cheney had been a member of Congress from Wyoming, he was, in the year 2000, arguably a resident of Texas since he had property there. George W. Bush, governor of the same state, was as well.

    In order to avoid the prohibition in the 12th amendment, Cheney had to quickly change his residency back to Wyoming (and sell his property), in order to avoid a lawsuit that had been filed. Eventually, a three-judge panel ruled that Cheney was, in fact, resident in Wyoming.

    Had they not done so, Cheney would have been disqualified, and Bush would have had to name another person as his VP. (In actuality, he would have had to convince the electoral college to vote for another VP candidate, but I suspect that would have been formality, seeing as they were to pledged to vote for Bush.)

    Um, no. The issue was that the electors from Texas would not have been able to vote for both Bush and Cheney, not that Cheney would have been disqualified altogether.

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Content dated before 7/24/2021 11:53 AM