Here’s my top 3 reasons for NOT abandoning the Electoral College system, which I don’t believe were foreseen by the founders:
1. In a close election, lawsuits and recounts would be spread across the entire country. Unlike the election of 2008, where the seemingly interminable back and forth or recounts and litigation continued until ended by the Supreme Court, these same antics could be propagated everywhere in attempts to gain popular votes, regardless of how close any particular election was. It might take months to decide a winner.
2. Natural disasters can affect the outcome. A few days before an election, suppose an earthquake hits California, an early blizzard descends on the midwest, or a freak late-season Hurricane decimates the Atlantic coast. Any of these could dramatically swing an election. In that case, would the President defy the Constitution and call-off the election? With the Electoral system we have, the impact would be confined to the states affected, and while the number of voters might be reduced, the electoral vote would be preserved.
3. There would be federal elections run by Washington. All elections are now run by the states. Should we move to a popular vote for the office of President, the federal government would exert control over the election process. This may not sound like a bad thing, but there would probably be a new cabinet post or agency under the DOJ to regulate the states ability to conduct elections, or even count the votes. The danger here is that a powerful agency in the hands of one party would do everything in its ability to insure its grip on power, potentially leading to tyranny.