The electoral college is controversial
Not everybody likes the electoral college. One reason why is that you can win most of the votes for president and still lose the election. This happened in 2016, for example, when Democrat Hillary Clinton received 3 million more votes than the person who won, Donald Trump.
But people have always been a little dissatisfied with the electoral college; you can tell from how we’ve spent so much time trying to change it.
In 1804, Congress passed the Twelfth Amendment, which fixed a problem where whoever came in second in the electoral college voting became vice president. Since the parties vigorously disagree with each other, you can imagine how that might (not) have worked out.
In 1951, we granted Washington, D.C. the right to vote for president (i.e. got 3 electoral votes). Before then, D.C. residents had no say.
We’ve also changed who gets to pick the electors. Originally, state legislatures got to pick the electors. Today, parties nominate electors and the voters pick which party’s electors get to vote.
States continue to pass laws tying electors’ votes to their constituents’ overall vote. This is kind of like saying, “You only get to do what the people in the state tell you to do.” Taking away electors’ choice is about as close as you can come to removing electors without doing away with the system completely.
Finally, there’s the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact, which hasn’t been implemented yet, but which has gained support recently. States that have signed on have pledged that their electors vote for whomever wins the national popular vote. When enough states sign on that they control 270 electoral votes, we’ll basically have a national popular vote system (since getting 270 votes means you win the presidency).