Different From Elections Today
The presidential election in 1789 was quite different than today's presidential elections. No women, African Americans or Native Americans were allowed to vote. Only white men who owned property were considered legal voters.
Also, all states did not participate in the election. Rhode Island and North Carolina had not ratified the Constitution yet and New York's legislature could not decide on its electors, so only 10 of the 13 original states voted.
There was also very little question about who would become president. George Washington, a member of the Federalist Party, had no opposition. The general from Virginia was enormously popular and did not campaign for the presidency because there was no need for him to do so. In fact, after defeating the British in the Revolutionary War, Washington looked forward to retirement. However, Washington was willing to serve as president if it was in the best interest of the country and he was easily elected to office.
This left who would be vice-president as the only unanswered question. In the first election, the office of vice-president went to the man who finished second in the balloting, John Adams. This rule changed with the 12th Amendment to the Constitution in 1804.