Uncommon Knowledge

Uncommon Knowledge: In which Presidential election did not all states vote?

May 13, 2013

George Washington may be the father of our country, but not every state participated in making him our first Presidential. In the 1789 election, New York, North Carolina and Rhode Island did not cast their votes—a full 23% of the original colonies. Their reasons for not joining in the newly established democratic process were not as a protest against the candidate—Washington was a widely beloved leader. New York’s legislature was tasked with choosing its electors, but they were deadlocked in debate and ended up sending no one. Both North Carolina and Rhode Island had not yet ratified the new United States Constitution, and were therefore not eligible to participate.

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