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Elections and Voting

July 9, 2018 is the last day to register for this year's primary elections in August. As we head into mid-term election season, get yourself in the mood with the following assorted titles about elections or voting. The list includes fiction and nonfiction, elections near and far, as well as titles to appeal to a wide age range. For more reading suggestions on any topic, visit our May We Suggest page. To learn more about your elected representatives and voting, check the Michigan Secretary of State website.

How is a government elected? by Susan Bright-Moore

Addresses how government officials are elected, with an overview of the issues that influence elections, the country's political parties, the voting process, and the importance of debates, campaigns, primaries, and national conventions.

Collection of "Schoolhouse rock" cartoons focusing on issues of American government and elections.

Introduces the voting process, describes how political candidates are chosen, and discusses who has the right to vote.

Activist Belva Lockwood never stopped asking herself the question Are women not worth the same as men? She had big dreams and didn't let anyone stand in her way--not her father, her law school, or even the U.S. Supreme Court. She fought for equality for women in the classroom, in the courtroom, and in politics.

Looks at the history of voting rights in the United States, examining the struggles of African Americans, Native Americans, and women to have the right to vote.

Follows suffragettes Nell Richardson and Alice Burke's cross-country journey to campaign for women's right to vote.

Also available in: video | e-video

Presents a collage-illustrated treasury of poems and spirituals inspired by the life and work of civil rights advocate Fannie Lou Hamer.

In this imaginative biographical story, Harriet Tubman and Susan B. Anthony sit down over a cup of tea in 1904 to reminisce about their struggles and triumphs in the service of freedom and women's rights.

Vote for me! by Louise Spilsbury

Describes how governments and elections function around the world, including why they are important, how to vote, and what the different political systems are.

Music that includes -- Rock the vote / The Virtuals -- Sufferin' till suffrage / Etta James -- The campaign trail / Bob Dorough -- Fireworks / The Sugarhill Gang -- Three-ring government / The Roots with Jazzyfatnastees -- Get to know your electoral college / Spicy T & Shihan -- Messin' with my Bill of Rights! / Grady Tate

A young boy witnesses his proud, hardworking grandfather dress in his best suit and go to town so that he can vote for the first time.

Book Uncle and me by Uma Krishnaswami

Every day, nine-year-old Yasmin borrows a book from Book Uncle, a retired teacher who has set up a free lending library next to her apartment building. But when the mayor tries to shut down the rickety bookstand, Yasmin has to take her nose out of her book and do something. But what can she do? The local elections are coming up but she's just a kid. She can't even vote!
 

As an elderly woman, Lillian recalls that her great-great-grandparents were sold as slaves in front of a courthouse where only rich white men were allowed to vote, then the long fight that led to her right--and determination--to cast her ballot since the Voting Rights Act gave every American the right to vote.

On election night, all eyes are on the ballot tallies to see which candidates come out on top. But the actual voting process begins much earlier. Examine opposing viewpoints on some of the key issues in the election process and consider for yourself the responsibilities and challenges of voting in a US election.

Night on fire by Ronald Kidd

Hoping that the arrival of Freedom Riders in her town will help her community shed its antiquated views, thirteen-year-old Billie is forced to confront her own mindset when things turn tragic.

Examines the Constitutional origins of modern-day political problems and outlines solutions for these issues.

Shares the story of the youngest person to complete the Selma to Montgomery March, describing her frequent imprisonments for her participation in nonviolent demonstrations and how she felt about her involvement in Civil Rights events.

Wide awake by David Levithan

In the not-too-impossible-to-imagine future, a gay Jewish man has been elected president of the United States. Until the governor of one state decides that some election results in his state are invalid, awarding crucial votes to the other candidate, and his fellow party member. Thus is the inspiration for couple Jimmy and Duncan to take part in the rallies and protests. 

A reference for teen students provides information about the past, present, and future of American elections.

Inspired by true events, a moving drama exploring the passion and heartbreak of the women who risked everything in their fight for equality in early 20th century Britain. 

March. Book 1 by John Lewis
Also available in: e-book

March is a vivid first-hand account of John Lewis' lifelong struggle for civil and human rights, meditating in the modern age on the distance traveled since the days of Jim Crow and segregation. Rooted in Lewis' personal story, it also reflects on the highs and lows of the broader civil rights movement. 

The fight to vote by Michael Waldman
Also available in: e-book | e-audiobook

Waldman takes a succinct and comprehensive look at a crucial struggle: the past and present effort to define and defend government based on "the consent of the governed." From the writing of the Constitution, and at every step along the way, as Americans sought the right, others have fought to stop them. This is the first book to trace the entire story from the Founders' debates to today's restrictions: gerrymandering; voter ID laws; the flood of money unleashed by conservative nonprofit organizations; making voting difficult to the elderly, the poor, and the young, by restricting open polling places.

The casual vacancy by J. K Rowling
Also available in: e-book | audiobook

When Barry Fairbrother dies in his early forties, the town of Pagford is left in shock and the empty seat left by Barry on the parish council soon becomes the catalyst for the biggest war the town has yet seen.

This volume will explore such timely topics as campaign finance and the corporate funding of elections in the aftermath of Citizens United vs. Federal Election Commission (2010). The volume will also investigate the effects of SCOTUS's ruling to roll back various aspects of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, allowing states to make their own election laws--including instituting voter ID laws and cancelling early voter registration--without federal oversight. Other important issues under discussion include the rise of one-party domination of state government and the subsequent, unprecedented gerrymandering of districts; the use of initiatives and referendums to mobilize political bases; and the changing uses of social media in campaigns. Articles will also examine the rise of political dissidents both inside and outside the two major parties.

Infomocracy by Malka Older

A high-tech political thriller about a global information monopoly attempting to prevent election sabotage and world war. It's been twenty years and two election cycles since Information, a powerful search engine monopoly, pioneered the switch from warring nation-states to global microdemocracy. The corporate coalition party Heritage has won the last two elections. With another election on the horizon, the Supermajority is in tight contention, and everything's on the line. With power comes corruption.

Also available in: e-audiobook

On the fiftieth anniversary of the Voting Rights Act, a riveting account of the continuing battle over Americans' right to vote.

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