In this week’s edition of the Observador Newsletter – Special American Elections, journalist João de Almeida Dias dives into one of the most important, and complex, characteristics of the American electoral system: the Electoral College.

In 2016, Hillary Clinton had nearly 3 million more votes than her opponent, Donald Trump, and was still not elected. How is that possible? By the way the system is designed. This is where the electoral college comes into play, and the complaints of many Democrats as well.

As João de Almeida Dias explains, the 2016 election was not the only one in which the candidate with the most votes was not elected President: it happened in Rutherford B. Hayes’ victory over Samuel J. Tilden in 1876; Benjamin Harrison’s victory over Grover Cleveland in 1988; and George W. Bush’s victory over Al Gore in 2000.

What do these winners have in common? They’re all Republicans. Since 2016, the existence of the electoral college method has been more questioned by Democrats, and there are still many voices who recall that Hillary Clinton won the popular vote. But what does this mean and what is at stake in the American electoral system?

On election day, it is best to read the Observador newsletter, a partnership with FLAD, to prepare for the night ahead. Read here the analysis of João de Almeida Dias. You can also subscribe to the newsletter to receive it directly in your email every Monday.