America's most controversial election? - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

America's most controversial election?

(KFVS) -

So you think the 2016 presidential campaign and last November's election were controversial. It's nothing compared to 1876.

The results of that election remain among the most disputed ever. The election pitted Democrat Samuel Tilden against Republican Rutherford B. Hayes.  Tilden won the popular vote and he led the electoral vote 184 to Hayes' 165.  But there were 20 electoral votes in four states that were in dispute. 

It was on this date in 1877,  Congress determined the outcome awarding all 20 of the electoral votes to Hayes.  That made him president by the smallest electoral vote ever, 185 to 184.  So how did it happen?  An informal deal was reached called the compromise of 1877.   Democrats agreed to a Hayes presidency if Republicans would agree to withdraw federal troops from the south, ending reconstruction.  By the way, voter turnout in that election remains the highest in American history with 81 percent of those eligible casting ballots.

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