If the elections we go by was changed to popular vote rather than an electoral one we would have less confusions. The popular vote shows what the citizens want and who they expect to be elected. It is unfair to tell us we get a popular vote, but it isn't confirmed to happen. Why ask then?
No, a popular vote is not necessary to avoid a recount crisis. In 2000, there was not a recount crisis. The recount was very peaceful. It's important that small states continue to have their say and matter in nationwide elections. There was not violence in 2000, and the process resolved itself peacefully as it was supposed to. A recount is not a crisis if it is handled appropriately.