Presidential voting: Moving the goalposts

by - February 13, 2013

IN NEARLY every political race in a democracy, the rules are simple: the candidate who gets the most votes wins. The American presidency is a notable exception: four times in the past 200 years the loser of the popular vote has taken the oath of office. For three of those four cases, blame the Electoral College.
This unloved and Byzantine body emerged during America’s founding as a compromise between those who wished for direct popular election of a president and those who preferred the president to be elected by Congress. Hundreds of constitutional amendments have been floated to end or amend the Electoral College; yet it remains.

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