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Published On: Tue, Jan 7th, 2014

This Day in History: George Washington wins the first US Presidential election

On this day in 1789, the United States held its first presidential election, in accordance with procedures set out in the Constitution, which had been ratified in 1788.

"General George Washington at Trenton." Courtesy of the Yale University Art Gallery, Yale University, New Haven, Conn. Gift of the Society of Cincinnati in Connecticut. 1792 by John Trumbull

“General George Washington at Trenton.” Courtesy of the Yale University Art Gallery, Yale University, New Haven, Conn. Gift of the Society of Cincinnati in Connecticut. 1792 by John Trumbull

With George Washington’s presidency ensured, the one issue was who would serve as vice president.

Under the system in place, each elector cast two votes. The person with the most votes became president; the runner-up became vice president.

The Politico noted that all 69 electors cast one of their votes for Washington. Their second votes were scattered among 11 candidates. John Adams of Massachusetts, who received 36 votes, emerged as vice president. Nobody else came close. With seven, John Jay of New York got the most votes of the remaining contenders.

Washington was sworn into office in New York on April 30, 1789.

For the first presidential election, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania and Virginia each cast 10 electoral votes. Connecticut and South Carolina followed with seven votes apiece. New Jersey and Maryland were each allocated six votes. Georgia garnered five, and tiny Delaware trailed the rest with merely three — the same number it holds today. (Source: Politico)

Washington is the only president to earn 100% of the electoral votes.

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