Should the United States Use the Electoral College in Presidential Elections?
The Founding Fathers enshrined the Electoral College in the US Constitution because they thought it was the best method to choose the president.
Using electors instead of the popular vote was intended to safeguard against uninformed or uneducated voters by putting the final decision in the hands of electors most likely to possess the information necessary to make the best decision; to prevent states with larger populations from having undue influence; and to compromise between electing the president by popular vote and letting Congress choose the president.    According to Alexander Hamilton, the Electoral College is if “not perfect, it is at least excellent,” because it ensured “that the office of President will never fall to the lot of any man who is not in an eminent degree endowed with the requisite qualifications.”  The Founders wanted to balance the will of the populace against the risk of “tyranny of the majority,” in which the voices of the masses can drown out minority interests. 
The Electoral College ensures that all parts of the country are involved in selecting the President of the United States.
If the election depended solely on the popular vote, then candidates could limit campaigning to heavily-populated areas or specific regions. To win the election, presidential candidates need electoral votes from multiple regions and therefore they build campaign platforms with a national focus, meaning that the winner will actually be serving the needs of the entire country. Without the electoral college, groups such as Iowa farmers and Ohio factory workers would be ignored in favor of pandering to metropolitan areas with higher population densities, leaving rural areas and small towns marginalized.   
The Electoral College guarantees certainty to the outcome of the presidential election.
If the election were based on popular vote, it would be possible for a candidate to receive the highest number of popular votes without actually obtaining a majority.  This happened with President Nixon in 1968 and President Clinton in 1992, when both men won the most electoral votes while receiving just 43% of the popular vote.  The existence of the Electoral College precluded calls for recounts or demands for run-off elections. The electoral process can also create a larger mandate to give the president more credibility; for example, President Obama received 51.3% of the popular vote in 2012 but 61.7% of the electoral votes.  In 227 years, the winner of the popular vote has lost the electoral vote only five times.  This proves the system is working.
The reasons for which the Founding Fathers created the Electoral College are no longer relevant.
Modern technology allows voters to get necessary information to make informed decisions in a way that could not have been foreseen by the Founding Fathers. Also, while Alexander Hamilton in 1788 saw the electors as being “free from any sinister bias,” members of the Electoral College are now selected by the political parties and they are expected to vote along party lines regardless of their own opinions about the candidates.    Just as several voting laws that limited direct democracy in the Constitution have been modified or discarded throughout history, so should the Electoral College. As a result of Constitutional amendments, women and former slaves were given the right to vote, and Senators, once appointed by state legislatures, are now elected directly by popular vote.  The vice presidency was once awarded to the runner up in electoral votes, but the procedure was changed over time to reflect the reality of elections. 
The Electoral College gives too much power to "swing states" and allows the presidential election to be decided by a handful of states.
The two main political parties can count on winning the electoral votes in certain states, such as California for the Democratic Party and Indiana for the Republican Party, without worrying about the actual popular vote totals. Because of the Electoral College, presidential candidates only need to pay attention to a limited number of states that can swing one way or the other.  A Nov. 6, 2016 episode of PBS NewsHour revealed that “Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton have made more than 90% of their campaign stops in just 11 so-called battleground states. Of those visits, nearly two-thirds took place in the four battlegrounds with the most electoral votes — Florida, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and North Carolina.” 
The Electoral College ignores the will of the people.
There are over 300 million people in the United States, but just 538 people decide who will be president. In 2016, Hillary Clinton won the popular vote by more than one million votes, yet still lost the election on electoral votes.  Even President-elect Donald Trump, who benefitted from the system, stated after the 2016 election that he believes presidents should be chosen by popular vote: “I would rather see it where you went with simple votes. You know, you get 100 million votes and somebody else gets 90 million votes and you win.”  Just as in 2000 when George W. Bush received fewer nationwide popular votes than Al Gore, Donald Trump will serve as the President of the United States despite being supported by fewer Americans than his opponent. 
|The Founding Fathers created the Electoral College as a compromise between electing the president via a vote in Congress only or via a popular vote only. The Electoral College comprises 538 electors; each state is allowed one elector for each Representative and Senator (DC is allowed 3 electors as established by the Twenty-Third Amendment).    
Number of electoral votes allocated to each state.
Source: USA.gov, “Presidential Election Process,” usa.gov (accessed Nov. 18, 2016)
In each state, a group of electors is chosen by each political party. On election day, voters choosing a presidential candidate are actually casting a vote for an elector. Most states use the “winner-take-all” method, in which all electoral votes are awarded to the winner of the popular vote in that state. In Nebraska and Maine, the candidate that wins the state’s overall popular vote receives two electors, and one elector from each congressional district is apportioned to the popular vote winner in that district. For a candidate to win the presidency, he or she must win at least 270 Electoral College votes.    
On Monday Dec. 19, 2016, the electors in each state met to vote for President and Vice President of the United States. Of the 538 Electoral College votes available, Donald J. Trump received 304 votes, Hillary Clinton received 227 votes, and seven votes went to others: three for Colin Powell, one for Faith Spotted Eagle, one for John Kasich, one for Ron Paul, and one for Bernie Sanders). On Dec. 22, 2016, the results were certified in all 50 states. On Jan. 6, 2017, a joint session of the US Congress met to certify the election results and Vice President Joe Biden, presiding as President of the Senate, read the certified vote tally.  
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- Doina Chiacu and Susan Cornwell, “US Congress Certifies Trump’s Electoral College Victory,” reuters.com, Jan. 6, 2017