Since the presidential election of 7 November 2000 the nation has been focused in on the events in Florida regarding the counting and recounting of the election ballots. The reason for the keen interest is that the outcome of the presidential election hangs in the balance. However, it is not because the tally of the Florida vote will make the difference in the overall outcome of the popular vote — for it is clear that regardless of the recount in Florida, Vice president Al Gore has won the popular vote. Florida is the focal point because the United States does not elect its president by popular vote, but by the Electoral College. This unique system of electing the president is generally not understood. Given this historic election and the increased attention paid to the Electoral College, Utah Foundation thought it might be helpful to look at this system of electing our presidents in historical perspective and see how it works today.