Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton speaks during a campaign rally in Raleigh, N.C., Nov. 8, 2016.
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton speaks during a campaign rally in Raleigh, N.C., Nov. 8, 2016.

Democrat Hillary Clinton will not be the next U.S. president, but her popular vote lead over President-elect Donald Trump continues to expand in late ballot counting.

On Thursday, her lead grew to more than 2.5 million, a bigger margin than that amassed by 10 candidates who were elected as U.S. president. But the Republican Trump won where it mattered, in the Electoral College, the U.S. system of picking its presidents, with the election outcomes in each of the 50 states and the national capital city of Washington determining the winner, not the national vote count.

In the Electoral College, the winner of each state gets all the state's electoral votes, with the biggest states holding the most sway in the overall outcome. Trump, while winning numerous states by relatively narrow margins, won the Electoral College, 306-232. Meanwhile, Clinton collected a huge vote advantage in California, where absentee vote counting is still going on, and New York, which gives her the national popular vote lead.

FILE - Then-President-elect Donald Trump gives th
FILE - President-elect Donald Trump gives the thumbs-up as he arrive at the Trump National Golf Club Bedminster clubhouse in Bedminster, N.J.

Trump annoyed

Trump voiced annoyance this week at Clinton's popular vote edge, saying, without producing any evidence, that he would have won the popular vote if millions of undocumented immigrants hadn't voted. Only U.S. citizens are allowed to vote and experts said there is no evidence of widespread voter fraud.

Trump in recent days has named more cabinet members as he shapes his administration that assumes power January 20.

While there's no chance that the election outcome will be reversed, Green Party presidential nominee Jill Stein, with the support of the Clinton campaign, has called for recounts in three states that Trump won, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Michigan.

The recount started Thursday in Wisconsin, where Trump defeated Clinton by 22,000 votes out of nearly 3 million votes that were cast. Trump is ahead by about 64,000 votes in Pennsylvania and 11,000 in Michigan.