Contested presidential elections
From elections to transitions, the process of choosing a president has sometimes been fraught
The 19th century
1800: Peaceful transfer of power
Thomas Jefferson and Aaron Burr tied in the electoral college. After 36 votes in the House of Representatives, Federalists gave their support to Jefferson—assuring a peaceful transfer of power from one party to another.
1824: The ‘corrupt bargain’
Andrew Jackson won the most popular votes and electoral votes, but without a majority of the latter, the House selected John Quincy Adams. Jackson called it a “corrupt bargain."
1860: The ultimate crisis
Abraham Lincoln won a majority of electoral votes, but only a plurality of the popular votes. His victory split the Union. Between Election Day and Inauguration Day, seven states voted to secede, followed by another four in the spring of 1861.
2000: Bush v. Gore
Following multiple contested elections in the 19th century, the 20th century's only disputed result came in its final year and involved the Supreme Court for the first time.
Event: Talking transitions
Perspectives on transition planning, managing transitions during crises and the complexities of shifting from campaigning to governing
Report: Transitions in crisis
Miller Center Director William Antholis joins David Marchick to examine five transitions that occurred during political crises and five that occurred during economic crises
The First Year Project
The issues the Miller Center examined during the last transition are still very relevant today
The modern struggle for voting rights
Countless books have been written about the civil rights movement, but far less attention has been paid to what happened after the dramatic passage of the Voting Rights Act (VRA) in 1965 and the turbulent forces it unleashed. Ari Berman's Give Us the Ballot tells this story for the first time.
The National Commission on Federal Election Reform
Following the 2000 election, a Miller Center commission suggested improvements to the federal, state, and local voting systems. Many became law.