Electoral College Debate: Election 2000: It's A Mess, But We've Been Through It Before

A popular majority was frustrated three times in the past. Democracy survived

The presidential election leaves us all baffled, bothered and bewildered. It should be some consolation, though, that this is not the first time the Republic has endured tight elections and confusing results. Nor is it the first time the winner of the popular vote has been denied the presidency. Nor is it the first time the Electoral College has been a source of trouble.

The Electoral College, a last-minute addition to the Constitution, distorts the popular vote. It is impossible to explain to foreigners. Even most Americans don't understand it. It produced its first election crisis in our very third presidential...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!