Why do people claim that we need an electoral college to preserve the federalist system in the US?

The argument goes that it's needed to give all states/districts an equal voice to stop the more populated districts from "crushing" the smaller ones. But how you prevent the large districts from "crushing" the smaller ones is to allocate certain powers to the federal, state and county governments. When you do it on a district by district basis, all you're doing is giving people in less populated districts more say than people in the more populated ones. And yes, if the larger districts elect a president that the smaller ones don't like, the smaller ones have to live with it but whenever you have an election at any level, the people who voted against the candidate who won have to live with it. Now it is true that you can move to another state or county but it's far more difficult to move to another country but if that's the case, then why not just turn the US into a confederacy?
Updates:
8 mo
Canada
Australia
Switzerland
Germany
Austria

All have federalist systems where the head of state is decided by popular vote.
Why do people claim that we need an electoral college to preserve the federalist system in the US?
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