The Electoral College was adopted in order to provide the slave states with a disproportionate electoral advantage. The Constitutional Convention of 1787 had already decided to allow each slave state to count an African American slave as three-fifths of a person for the purpose of awarding seats in the House of Representatives.
By apportioning the Electoral College so that every state got an electoral vote for each House district, plus two extra for each of its senators, the slave states were able to use their captive black populations to vastly increase their influence in presidential elections.
That’s the conclusion of distinguished constitutional historians such as professor Paul Finkelman, whose scholarly articles have been cited by the U.S. Supreme Court (see, for example, “The Proslavery Origins of the Electoral College).
The propensity for the Electoral College to thwart democracy even today was on vivid display with the election of Donald Trump with only a minority of the popular vote.
“I know of no western or industrialized democracy that uses such a system (the Electoral College). As far as I know, the presidency is the only elected office in the United States in which the person with the most votes in the final election does not necessarily win,” observes professor Finkelman. (”Yes, the Electoral College Really is a Vestige of Slavery. It’s Time to Get Rid Of It.”)
The abolition of the Electoral College is long overdue.