Hillary Clinton, the Democratic Party’s nominee for US president in the 2016 elections, has now amassed more than 2 million popular votes over President-elect Donald Trump, who won the White House by securing more Electoral College votes.
According to an independent analysis by the Cook Political Report released Wednesday, Clinton had 64,225,863 votes compared to Trump’s 62,210,612 votes.
Clinton’s lead could grow even larger because uncounted ballots remain in states where she won, especially in California, according to Dave Wasserman of the Cook Political Report.
Trump, the Republican Party’s presidential nominee, won the election by beating Clinton in more states and taking the majority of electoral votes.
US citizens do not directly elect the president or the vice president; instead they choose “electors”, who usually pledge to vote for particular nominees. The Electoral College is the body that elects the American president and vice president every four years.
Opponents of the Electoral College claim such outcomes do not represent how a democratic system should function.
Clinton’s lead in the popular vote has renewed criticism against the country’s Electoral College system.
Clinton’s loss is the fifth time in US history where a presidential nominee who won the popular vote did not assume the presidency. The last time was in 2000, when Al Gore defeated George W. Bush in the popular vote but lost in the electoral votes.
After his election victory, Trump praised the Electoral College, despite calling the voting system a “disaster for a democracy” in 2012.
A group of academics and political activists are calling on US officials to review or recount the 2016 election results, particularly in the battleground states of Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin, where Trump won by razor-thin margins.
“I’m interested in verifying the vote,” Dr. Barbara Simons, an adviser to the US Election Assistance Commission and expert on electronic voting, told The Guardian. “We need to have post-election ballot audits.”
Legal scholars have argued that the Electoral College was originally enacted partially because it enabled the southern states, which were against abolishing slavery, to disenfranchise slaves, as well as women, while allowing these states to maintain political clout.