Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Tie (02/28/13)
TITLE: Old College Tie
By Christina Banks
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I don’t really mind. I’m not fond of them either.
“Worried Thomas?” Aaron walks beside me.
This campaign has been long and nasty but it is finally over. Even now the college convenes. I have little doubt what the outcome will be. The electors will declare me the winner.
“No.” I just wish that Martha could be here. It would be good to have her by my side on this day. “And you, Aaron?”
He smiles. “I think your party system idea is brilliant.”
“It will make things easier to run the country. John and I had such different philosophies.”
“And that has changed?” Aaron’s eyes gleam.
“I suppose not.” I chuckle. The whole group of them can’t stand me. It will be hard for many of them to see me in charge. Too bad.
A man rushes toward us, his coat tails flying behind. He slides to a stop in front of us gasps for breath.
“Well, man, what is it?” I can sense Aaron’s impatience.
“It is time for the vote, good sirs.” The man pants. I refuse to run, but Aaron and I walk briskly toward the hall.
The vote is underway long before we reach the packed gallery. I nod to several as the crowd parts for us to have a better seat. John is seated across the room. Does he know that he has lost? The determined set of his jaw makes me wonder.
“One vote for Jay. Sixty-four votes for Pinckney. Sixty-five votes for Adams.” The speaker declares. Beside me Aaron leans forward.
“Seventy-three votes for Burr.” The man stops and looks harder at the paper. A hush of anticipation fills the hall. “Seventy-three votes for Jefferson.” He says. Murmurs start up all over the room. This wasn’t how it was supposed to be. Aaron looks at me with wide eyes.
“What does it mean?” He whispers.
It means we messed up. I want to shout. Someone failed somewhere. There was never supposed to be a tie.
The speaker bangs his gavel to restore order. “In case of a tie, the issue will be sent to congress for a final verdict.”
My heart sinks. The Federalists hate me.
*The US election of 1800 resulted in a tie in the electoral college between Thomas Jefferson and his vice presidential running mate Aaron Burr. The matter was sent to congress to decide. Due to strong dislike for Jefferson in the Federalist run Congress, it took 36 separate votes before Jefferson was declared the winner. This episode spurred the ratification of the Twelfth Amendment in 1804, ensuring that a similar tie would not happen again.
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