Approval voting in the first four USA presidential elections – Executive summary
The first four USA presidential elections
(1788-1800) were conducted using a variant of approval voting.
Each elector could approve either 0, 1, or 2
candidates (3 or more forbidden, thus
deviating from normal approval-voting rules,
but this may not have made a big difference in practice in most of these elections;
also note 0 approvals, while allowed, would be strategically stupid).
Most-approved candidate wins presidency.
Second-most-approved candidate wins vice-presidency.
(This, while comparatively unimportant, was a big design mistake, since
often the P and VP would hate one another – not a good working relationship!)
The last time this system was used was in 1800, when it
yielded an exact tie between
T.Jefferson and A.Burr.
After that, the 12th amendment changed
the presidential election system. Its current rules, while little known
and actually quite bizarre, unfortunately are
a variant of plurality voting.