It was originally proposed that the President be chosen by popular vote, but the delegates to the Constitutional Convention agreed (after 60 ballots!) on a system known as the Electoral College. The procedure for election of the President and Vice President was modified by the 12th Amendment in 1804. The closest that Congress has come to abolishing the Electoral College was before the 91st Congress (1969-1971) where the attempt failed to gain the required 2/3rds vote in the Senate. Currently, the electoral votes range from 3 for the least populous states and the District of Columbia, to 55 for California.