Our arcane — some say undemocratic — system dates back to the nation’s founding.

A voter prepares to fill out a ballot in New York City. (Getty Images)

How is it that the office of United States president, the highest in the land, is one where the person who gets the most votes can still lose the election? Fifty years ago, Congress came close to changing that process. Why did the effort fail?

Twice in the last 20 years (in 2016 with President Trump’s victory, and in 2000 with President George W. Bush), and in three additional elections, candidates gained the office by winning enough electoral college votes (270 or more) despite losing the popular vote. …

Andrew Mayz

Archival Associate Producer at Retro Report | Projects: Atlanta’s Missing and Murdered: The Lost Children, Basketball: A Love Story | NYU Graduate

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