In 1787, the Framers of the U.S. Constitution had to decide who would elect the president. Should Congress do it? The state governments? Or should regular citizens pick the president in a popular vote? As a compromise, the Framers came up with the system we still have today.
It’s possible for a candidate to win the popular vote but lose the election. That has happened five times, including in 2016. Donald Trump lost the popular vote but won the presidency with 304 electoral votes. Because the candidate with the most popular votes doesn’t always win, some Americans think the Electoral College isn’t the fairest way to pick a president.