In 1800, only a decade after its development, the American presidential electoral process faced a dilemma that clearly demonstrated that the elections were still a work in progress. After all votes were cast and electors designated, the two Republican Party candidates, Thomas Jefferson and Aaron Burr, were tied with 73 electoral votes. In those days, parties did not designate a combined ticket, so it was possible for electors to cast two votes for any of four candidates. The one with the clear majority would win, and the one who came in second would become vice president. In the 1800 election, the Republican Party decided they wanted Jefferson to win the presidency and Burr to win the vice presidency.
However, things didn't exactly go as planned when the vote went to the House of Representatives. It took 36 ballots, but Jefferson eventually prevailed, chiefly because some of the Federalists in Congress – at the urging of Alexander Hamilton – abstained, throwing the election to Jefferson. For finishing second, Burr became the vice president but was immediately ostracized by Jefferson, who suspected that he had actually attempted to obtain the presidency for himself during the lengthy maneuvering and chicanery that went on during the election. Any of Burr's requests for official appointments in the new cabinet were ignored, and he was quickly isolated. By 1804, it was a foregone conclusion that he would be dropped from the ticket. When his unsuccessful 1804 campaign for Governor of New York was impacted negatively by Alexander Hamilton, Burr's political frustration boiled over into the notorious duel that killed the former Secretary of the Treasury and rendered the Vice President a political pariah.
Angered by his banishment from American politics, Burr left the US and hatched a misguided plot to seize the western territories and place himself at the head of his own country. The plan never got off the ground, and Jefferson's animosity prompted a trial for treason, with the President fully intending to hang his former Vice President. Luckily for Burr, Chief Justice John Marshall, who presided over the trial, set a very high standard of guilt, and Burr was acquitted. Still, the hostility of the political establishment and the President was so great that Burr fled to Europe and did not return for four years.
The election of 1800 caused such turmoil that the 12th Amendment to the Constitution was passed, which would subsequently allow electors to vote for a president and vice president instead of two votes for president.