Sign the petition: Elect Presidents by national popular vote

On November 8, the American people spoke clearly, and chose Hillary Clinton for President.

As of this writing, Clinton leads the popular vote by roughly 700,000 votes, with millions of votes left to be counted. Further, her lead will likely continue to grow, with most of the remaining votes coming from blue states California, Oregon and Washington.

However, because Clinton’s support was geographically concentrated, Donald Trump will win the Electoral College and become President of the United States.

This comes only sixteen years after Al Gore won the popular vote but did not become President of the United States, in a similar affront to democracy.

It is long past time that we stopped using the Electoral College to choose our Presidents, and started using the national popular vote instead. Every vote should count equally. Every state should be a swing state.

Sign the petition: Elect Presidents by national popular vote.

There is a realistic path to making an end-run around the Electoral College in time for the 2020 election. This is because we don’t need a constitutional amendment to start electing presidents by national popular vote. We only need the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact:

The National Popular Vote Interstate Compact (NPVIC) is an agreement among several U.S. states and the District of Columbia to award all their respective electoral votes to whichever presidential candidate wins the overall popular vote in the 50 states and the District of Columbia. The compact is designed to ensure that the candidate who wins the most popular votes is elected president, and it will come into effect only when it will guarantee that outcome.[2][3] As of 2016, it has been joined by ten states and the District of Columbia; their 165 combined electoral votes amount to 30.7% of the total Electoral College vote, and 61.1% of the 270 votes needed for it to have legal force.

If states and territories totaling at least 270 electoral votes pass laws joining the National Popular Vote Compact, then the next presidential election will be determined by the winner of the national popular vote. We are already up to 165.

If we can make the issue of electing Presidents based on the national popular vote broadly adopted by elected Democrats, and if Democrats can do well at the state level in the 2018 midterm elections–which is realistic in the event of an unpopular President Trump–then in 2019 we can pass laws that would make the 2020 presidential election determined by the popular vote.

(Since you might be wondering, according to the compact, states do not change the way they determine their electoral votes until enough states join that the 270 electoral vote threshold is reached. So, for example, California will only start awarding its electoral votes to the national popular vote winner instead of the state popular vote winner once states equalling 270 electoral votes have decided to do the same.)

So this is something we can actually pull off. It starts by telling all elected Democrats that you have had enough of the Electoral College, and that whenever possible they must pass laws to have their states join the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact.

Add your name: Choose our Presidents by national popular vote.

Keep fighting,
Chris Bowers
Executive Campaign Director, Daily Kos

Samsung and Me

I am a big fan of my two Samsung devices, Galaxy Tab 3 tablet and my Galaxy S5 phone.  My tablet is wi-fi based only.  I use it for ebooks, testing mobile stuff for work, and occasionally blogging and tweeting at conferences.  However, I am very frustrated with Samsung as there has not been a software update to the tablet since August 2105.  It currently runs on KitKat (T217SVPUBOH1).  I contacted Samsung support via chat on a desktop computer this morning, hoping to get some information.  Here is that chat session with the name of the Samsung agent changed to protect the innocent.

info: You are now chatting with ‘Samsung Rep’. The reference number for this chat is xxxxxxxx.
Samsung Rep: Hi, thank you for reaching out to Samsung technical support. How may I assist you?
Visitor: I have a Galaxy Tab3 that is WiFi only. Why hasn’t there been a software update since 2015?
Samsung Rep: I see that you are looking for the information about update on tablet.
Samsung Rep: I will help you with that information.
Visitor: Thanks
Samsung Rep: You are welcome.
Samsung Rep: I know you’d be eager to explore the features of the new version.
Samsung Rep: Samsung is working on it to get the updates for the tablet.
Samsung Rep: The updates will be released in batches.
Samsung Rep: You may receive the next update as a direct notification on your tab as soon as it is released over air for these tabs.
Samsung Rep: You could find it in Settings>>About Device>>Check for the updates.
Visitor: I know all of that already. I want to know when and what it will be.
Samsung Rep: As the update is released over air, it is not possible to predict the exact time and date of that software.
Samsung Rep: The best I can do for you is, I will forward your concern to our management department.
Visitor: Thanks.
Samsung Rep: You are welcome.
Samsung Rep: Do you have any other questions for me?
Visitor: Will there be an update to latest Android version?
Samsung Rep: Yes, there would be an update and it is not possible to predict the version as Samsung will send the update directly to the tablet with a notification message.
Visitor: Same way they handled Note 7. No public information.

As you can see, I did not get a direct answer to my question “Why hasn’t there been a software update since 2015?”  What I got is obviously scripted so the Samsung rep did not have that information.  All I got was how to locate the version information for my device’s software.  I already knew that.  I then asked if there will be an update to the latest version of Android.  You can see the answer above and my snippy response.  I then closed the session.

Why can’t vendors like Samsung be upfront about software upgrades for devices they still support?  It is not as though I bought one that uses the cellular phone network.  All I want is a straight answer.  If it is not going to be upgraded for awhile, please tell me that.