I've scratched my head on the Twelfth Amendment the past month, going back to it again and again, wondering if it indicates we are not electing our vice president in the manner designated.
It says the vice president should be elected separately from the president. They are not to be elected as a team.
You read the 12th Amendment. It is speaking of how the Electoral College votes shall be counted.
" . . . they shall name in their ballots the person voted for as President, an 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 . . ."
Well, I'm guessing that maybe, when the Electoral College votes, it does, in fact, vote separately for president and vice president. It's just that everyone just happens to vote for the vice presidential candidate that corresponds with the presidential candidate.
Surely, we are following the Constitution to that degree, aren't we?
Down further in the Twelfth Amendment, it says that if the election does not result in a winner by March 4, "then the Vice-President shall act as President." It says the person receiving the greatest number of votes as vice president shall be that vice president, so it is clearly talking about the vice president just elected, not the one leaving office.
But, if the votes have been cast for as a ticket, then the vice-presidential race is going to mirror the presidential race and be as unresolved as is the presidential race. This indicates, then, that they should be elected separately, not as running mates.
I guess it can be argued that the voting in the Electoral College can be done with separate tallies, even though the candidates run as running mates. It seems, though, a great argument can also be made that they should run independent of each other, and not as a ticket.