Vox Sentences is your daily digest for what’s happening in the world. Sign up for the Vox Sentences newsletter, delivered straight to your inbox Monday through Friday, or view the Vox Sentences archive for past editions.
A growing state-level push to sidestep the Electoral College; Theresa May’s days in office are likely numbered.
The push against the Electoral College
- 14 states and the District of Columbia have joined an effort to elect the president by popular vote rather than the Electoral College. [CBS News / Camilo Montoya-Galvez]
- Under the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact, states would award its electoral votes to the candidate who wins the national popular vote. The states that have joined the pact so far: California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington state, and DC. Nevada’s assembly has approved a measure to join the agreement, and it now awaits the governor’s signature. [CNN / Caroline Kelly]
- Presidents have won races by receiving the most electoral votes despite losing the popular vote, the most recent case being the 2016 election. Despite collecting 3 million fewer votes than Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump won the election with 304 electoral votes. [The Hill / Morgan Gstalter]
- The pact will only take effect if enough states join to make up 270 electoral votes — the number that would guarantee a win for the candidate. The addition of Nevada would bring the vote total so far to 195. [Washington Post / Deanna Paul]
- The Electoral College is a partisan issue. Democratic-leaning states that are often highly populated, urban areas believe they are disadvantaged during elections in comparison to smaller, rural states that tend to vote Republican. [NPR / Matthew S. Schwartz]
- These same small Republican states, however, say eliminating the Electoral College would take away the voice of rural Americans. [NBC News / Carrie Dann]
- For now, the fate of the pact seems uncertain when no Republican legislature has backed it so far and Congress has yet to sanction the movement. [NYT / Jose A. Del Real and Julie Turkewitz]
New Brexit deal faces immediate backlash
- British Prime Minister Theresa May promised she would resign if her fourth attempt at passing a Brexit deal failed — and it looks like the end may be near. [Economist]
- On Tuesday, May gave her last pitch for her new Brexit deal with additional tweaks, which included keeping Britain tied to the European Union’s economic structure until 2020. [NYT / Stephen Castle]
- She also offered Parliament a chance to reconsider a second public vote on the Brexit referendum on Tuesday, a move she had opposed in the past. These efforts to win over the Labour Party failed, however, and backfired by angering hardcore Brexit supporters. [Vox / Jen Kirby]
- May’s proposal failed miserably and led to the resignation of Andrea Leadsom as Commons leader. Leadsom’s role would have required her to bring the withdrawal bill before the Commons. [Economist]
- Leadsom, who had supported May’s Brexit deal until then, said she was opposed some of the new additions to the proposal and had lost faith in the government’s ability to deliver a proper Brexit deal. Her criticism adds weight to predictions that she may try to replace May as leader of the Conservative Party. [Washington Post / Karla Adam]
- Debate on the deal has been postponed until June. But May has lost virtually all support from even her own party and is being pressured to step down by June 10. [BBC]
- On Friday, she is scheduled to meet with Graham Brady, chair of the influential 1922 Committee, to discuss her future. The showdown could be a defining moment for May’s career, and prospects look bleak. [CNN / Rob Picheta]
- A Harriet Tubman $20 bill was promised by 2020. Now the new design has been delayed until at least 2028. [CNBC / Tucker Higgins]
- Under Japanese tradition that puts the surname before the given name, Japan’s prime minister is called Abe Shinzo. His administration is now asking Western media to address him the proper way. [NYT / Motoko Rich]
- Botswana, which is home to about 130,000 elephants, has lifted its ban on elephant hunting, leaving the animals vulnerable to poaching. [AP / Cara Anna]
- Are you a woman? Are you always cold in your office? You may not be alone, and researchers think the frigid temperatures may be impacting women’s productivity. [NYT / Veronique Greenwood]
- Amazon is reportedly working on a wearable device that can read human emotions. It’s described as a health app. [Bloomberg / Matt Day]
“We Really, Really, Really, Really, Really Hate Donald Trump Act of 2019” [An alternative name of an anti-Electoral College bill, as suggested by a lawmaker in Colorado]
Watch this: Climate change is making allergy season worse
The pollen-ocalypse is coming. [YouTube / Danush Parvaneh and Umair Irfan]
“Send a Baby to Mars!” and other AI-generated petitions
Electroconvulsive therapy has a cruel past. But it saved my great-grandmother’s life.
How AirPods became an unlikely status symbol
Democrats: we’d love to nominate a young woman of color in 2020. Also, we love Joe Biden.