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by Debbie Wiedeman
Seven reasons why I love our book clubs for kids and parents, and how you can join them this November.Read More
by Amy Goodchild
E-learning can be daunting, so use these resources to help you and your child's education.Read More
Voting, the Electoral College, and How Elections Work
American Political Parties and Elections
Few Americans and even fewer citizens of other nations understand the electoral process in the United States. Still fewer understand the role played by political parties in the electoral process or the ironies within the system. Participation in elections in the United States is much lower than in the vast majority of mature democracies. Perhaps this is because of the lack of competition in a country where only two parties have a true chance of winning, despite the fact that a large number of citizens claim allegiance to neither and think badly of both. Or perhaps it is because in the U.S. campaign contributions disproportionately favor incumbents in most legislative elections, or that largely unregulated groups such as the now notorious 527s have as much impact on the outcome of a campaign as do the parties or the candidates' campaign organizations. These factors offer a very clear picture of the problems that underlay our much trumpeted electoral system.
The second edition of this Very Short Introduction introduces the reader to these issues and more. Drawing on updated data and new examples from the 2016 presidential nominations, L. Sandy Maisel provides an insider's view of how the system actually works while shining a light on some of its flaws. He also illustrates the growing impact of campaigning through social media, the changes in campaign financing wrought by the Supreme Court recent decisions, and the Tea Party's influence on the sub-presidential nominating process. As the United States enter what is sure to be yet another highly contested election year, it is more important than ever that Americans take the time to learn the system that puts so many in power.
Why Don't Americans Vote? Causes and Consequences
Elections not only determine who will fill an office; they have a lot to say about how the democratic process works—or doesn't work—in 21st-century America. This fascinating book sheds light on that question by focusing on factors that currently shape elections and political participation in the United States. It covers issues that are consistently in the media, such as gerrymandering; voter ID; and rules pertaining to when, where, and how Americans register and vote. But it also goes beyond the obvious to consider issues that are often overlooked—civic education and engagement, citizen apathy, and political alienation, for example.
The volume begins with an introduction to elections that includes a discussion of the history of voting in the United States. Each subsequent chapter covers a different topic relative to registration and voting. It addresses matters of education as well as socialization, mobilization, and the legal and political structures that shape U.S. political participation. Ideal for readers who may be considering such concerns for the first time, the work will foster an understanding of why political participation is important and of the causes and consequences of non-voting.
What You Need to Know About Voting--and Why
Want to change the world? The first step is to exercise your right to vote! In this step by step guide, you can learn everything you need to know.
In What You Need to Know About Voting—and Why, law professor and constitutional scholar Kimberly Wehle offers practical, useful advice on the mechanics of voting and an enlightening survey of its history and future.
- What is a primary?
- How does the electoral college work?
- Who gets to cast a ballot and why?
- How do mail-in ballots work?
- How do I register?
For new voters, would-be voters, young people and all of us looking ahead to the next election, What You Need to Know About Voting—and Why is a timely and informative guide, providing the background you need in order to make informed choices that will shape our shared destiny for decades to come.
The Infographic Guide to American Government
This vibrant, illustrated guide to the ins and outs of United States politics provides a clearer understanding of the current events and regular processes that shape this nation and the world.
Decipher the American political system with this clear, easy-to-understand guide to the basics of the United States political system, from the founding of the thirteen colonies, to the foundations of the constitution, to how elections work. You’ll also find information about the history and context of current issues, like how Supreme Court justices are appointed; the electoral college and the popular vote; and how to get involved in the political process.
Perfect for anyone looking for information on basic political processes, The Infographic Guide to American Government includes graphics that help simplify a range of topics from the Revolutionary War to all about a free press.
I Voted? : Does Your Vote Count?
A feature-length, non-partisan documentary which examines the capture and counting of ballots in American elections. It asks the question, What are the specific assurances of accuracy and security in American voting? The answers are both surprising and disturbing.
Schoolhouse Rock! Election collection
A whole new generation of patriots can be inspired by the memorable songs that explain how our government is set up and how the electoral process works.
Thank You for Voting
In this concise, lively look at the past, present, and future of voting, a journalist examines the long and continuing fight for voting equality, why so few Americans today vote, and innovative ways to educate and motivate them; included are checklists of what to do before election day to prepare to vote and encourage others.
Voting is a prized American right and a topic of debate from the earliest days of the country. Yet in the 2016 presidential election, about 40 percent of Americans--and half of the country's young adults--didn't vote. Why do so many Americans choose not to vote, and what can we do about it?
The problem, Erin Geiger Smith contends, is a lack of understanding about our electoral system and a need to make voting more accessible. Thank You for Voting is her eye-opening look at the voting process, starting with the Framers' perspective, through the Equal Protection amendment and the Voting Rights Act, to the present and simple actions individuals can take to increase civic participation in local, state, and national elections.
Geiger Smith expands our knowledge about our democracy--including women's long fight to win the vote, attempts to suppress newly enfranchised voters' impact, state prohibitions against felons voting, charges of voter fraud and voter suppression, and other vital issues. In a conversational tone, she explains topics that can confuse even the most informed voters: polling, news literacy, gerrymandering and the Electoral College. She also explores how age, race, and socioeconomic factors influence turnout.
Ultimately, Thank You for Voting offers hope. Geiger Smith challenges corporations to promote voting, and offers examples of how companies like Patagonia and Walmart have taken up the task in a non-partisan way. And she reveals how get-out-the-vote movements--such as television star Yara Shahidi's voting organization, Michelle Obama's When We All Vote campaign, and on-the-ground young activists--innovatively use technology and grassroots techniques to energize first-time voters.
Drawing the Vote
"Coinciding with the 2020 US presidential election, Drawing the Vote, an original graphic novel, looks at the history of voting rights in the United States, and how it has affected the way we vote today. Author Tommy Jenkins traces this history from the earliest steps toward democracy during the American Revolution, to the upheaval caused by the Civil War, the fight for women's suffrage, the Civil Rights movement, the election of an African American president, and the control by a Republican majority. Along the way, Jenkins identifies events and trends that led to the unprecedented results of the 2016 presidential election that left Americans wondering, "how did this happen?" To balance these complex ideas and statistics, Kati Lacker's clean artistic style makes the book both beautiful and accessible. At a time when many citizens are experiencing apathy about voting and skepticism concerning our bitterly divided political parties, Drawing the Vote seeks to offer some explanation for how we got here and how every American can take action to make their vote count"--
Slay the Dragon
Gerrymandering has become an immensely powerful weapon of partisan advantage, creating an unresponsive and unaccountable government. But ahead of the 2020 elections and a new round of redistricting, voters are fighting back. With exclusive access to influential, citizen-led activist groups, as well as the legal team that brought the most important voting rights case in a generation to the Supreme Court, the film chronicles the civic grit that is turning the tide in the battle.
Talk About: Voting & Elections
What Is the President's Job?
Find out what the president does as you learn about the executive branch of government and see what a day in the life of the commander in chief is really like.
This leveled DK Reader will build reading skills while teaching exciting political vocabulary and showing how the leader of the United States helps decide the country's laws, what traditions the president takes part in, and how the POTUS meets with other countries to make sure there is peace and goodwill.
Fault Lines in the Constitution
Cynthia Levinson, a noted children’s nonfiction author, has teamed up with her husband Sanford Levinson, one of the nation’s foremost constitutional scholars, to address the fact that many of the political issues we struggle with today have their roots in one place—the U.S. Constitution.
Their award-winning book, Fault Lines in the Constitution, takes readers back to the creation of this historic document and discusses how contemporary problems were first introduced―and then they offer possible solutions. Think of timely subjects such as voting rights, presidential pardons, executive and emergency powers, the Electoral College, gerrymandering, even the Senate. Many of us take these features in our system for granted. But they came about through haggling in an overheated room in 1787, and we’re still experiencing the ramifications.
Each chapter in this timely and thoughtful exploration of the Constitution’s creation begins with a story―all but one of them true―that connects directly back to a section of the document that forms the basis of our society and government. Informative sidebars and graphics run throughout along with a timeline and bibliography.
Discussion Guide available!
Visit the blog at www.faultlinesintheconstitution.com.
A fun, funny, and informative guide to the weird world of American politics How does the president get his job? How do people know who will win an election before everybody’s voted? Do the candidates hate each other? Dan Gutman takes on his strangest subject ever: the American political system. Reaching through history from the days of the founding fathers to today’s voting system, Gutman tackles complex subjects in a clear, easy-to-understand way. Even grown-ups will find something in here that they’ve never learned before. Politics are a crazy game, and with Dan Gutman teaching you the rules, you’re going to have a blast learning how to play.
If I Ran for President
If you ran for president, you would have to do a lot of hard work. You would study the nation's problems, tell the American people about your platform, select a running mate, and debate your opponents on live television.
Monster Needs Your Vote
Election season is here and Monster is ready to vote! But why cast your ballot when you can run for president instead? With speeches, debates, and a soapbox or two, Monster’s newest tale is a campaign encouraging kids to take a stand and fight for what they believe in.
Grace for President
"Where are the girls?" When Grace's teacher reveals that the United States has never had a female president, Grace decides to be the first. And she immediately starts off her political career as a candidate the school's mock election. But soon, she realizes that she has entered a tough race. Her popular opponent claims to be the "best man for the job"--and seems to have captured all the male votes--while Grace concentrates on being the best person. In this timely story, author Kelly DiPucchio not only gives readers a fun introduction to the American electoral system, but also teaches them the value of hard work, courage, and independent thought--and offers an inspiring example of how to choose our leaders.
Give Us the Vote!
For over 200 years, people have marched, gone to jail, risked their lives, and even died trying to get the right to vote in the United States. Others, hungry to acquire or hold onto power, have gone to extraordinary lengths to prevent people from casting ballets or outright stolen votes and sometimes entire elections.
Perfect for students who want to know more about voting rights, this nonfiction book contains an extensive view of suffrage from the Founding Fathers to the 19th Amendment to the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to today's voter suppression controversies, and explains the barriers people of color, Indigenous people, and immigrants face. Back matter includes a bibliography, source notes, texts of the Constitution and amendments, a timeline, and an index.
A Junior Library Guild Selection
Selected for the CBC Champions of Change Showcase
One Person, No Vote (YA edition)
This young adult adaptation brings to light the shocking truth about how not every voter is treated equally. After the election of Barack Obama, a rollback of voting rights occurred, punctuated by a 2013 Supreme Court decision that undid the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Known as the Shelby ruling, this decision allowed districts with a history of racial discrimination to change voting requirements without approval from the Department of Justice. This book follows the stunning aftermath of that ruling and explains how voter suppression works, from photo ID requirements to gerrymandering to poll closures. It also explores the resistance: the organizing, activism, and court battles to restore the basic right to vote to all Americans.
Complete with a discussion guide, photographs, and information about getting involved with elections in teens’ own community, this is an essential explanation of the history of voting rights—and a call to action for a better future. As the nation gears up for the 2020 presidential election season, now is the time for teens to understand the past and work for change.
When You Grow Up to Vote
In the voice of one of the most iconic and beloved political figures of the twentieth century comes a book on citizenship for the future voters of the twenty-first century. Eleanor Roosevelt published the original edition of When You Grow Up to Vote in 1932, the same year her husband was elected president. The new edition has updated information and back matter as well as fresh, bold art from award-winning artist Grace Lin. Beginning with government workers like firefighters and garbage collectors, and moving up through local government to the national stage, this book explains that the people in government work the voter.
Fresh, contemporary, and even fun, When You Grow Up to Vote is the book parents and teachers need to talk to children about how our government is designed to work.
A Vote Is a Powerful Thing
Callie knows there's a presidential election coming up. Her class is having an election, too, about an issue that affects them all—the class field trip! She's about to witness first-hand what a difference a vote can make—even a single vote—and along the way will find out about the election process and why people have fought for the right to vote throughout history. A great kids'-eye look at the power of the vote.
Vote for Our Future!
In this charming and powerful picture book about voting and elections, the students of Stanton Elementary School learn how we can find--and use--our voices for change.
Every two years, on the first Tuesday of November, Stanton Elementary School closes for the day. For vacation? Nope! For repairs? No way! Stanton Elementary School closes so that it can transform itself into a polling station. People can come from all over to vote for the people who will make laws for the country. Sure, the Stanton Elementary School students might be too young to vote themselves, but that doesn't mean they can't encourage their parents, friends, and family to vote! After all, voting is how this country sees change--and by voting today, we can inspire tomorrow's voters to change the future.
With the next presidential election upon us, this witty, nonpartisan book will help explain the concept of voting to the youngest readers.
I Voted explains the concept of choosing, individually, and as a group, from making a simple choice: "Which do you like better, apples or oranges?", to selecting a class pet, to even more complicated decisions, like electing community representatives.
You may not always get want you want, but there are strategies to better your odds!
Serge Bloch's effortless and charming illustrations paired with Mark Shulman's funny and timely text create a perfect resource for discussing current events with your children.
Backmatter includes information about the United States electoral process.
We The People
With the 2020 Presidential election around the corner, there has never been a better time to take a closer look at the Constitution, the bedrock of US politics. Inquisitive minds will have their questions vividly answered – and new ones raised – by a mix of striking illustrations and clear, engaging text, including passages from the Constitution given in plain English.
As well as a detailed history covering the original Constitution, the Bill of Rights and all Amendments, discover how this milestone in American democracy shapes and is shaped by the world at large. We The People shows that, far from a fusty old piece of paper, the US Constitution is a living, evolving rulebook that is as relevant today as it has ever been.
- A fresh take on a monumental document, navigating in style its history and its life today.
- Excerpts from the Constitution are presented here in plain English to help young thinkers better understand the role it plays in everyday life.
- Accessible, energetic text accompanied by contemporary, powerful illustrations allows children aged 10 and older to re-think the Constitution in a totally new way.
- A balanced examination that does not shy away from addressing the difficulties of interpreting and adapting the Constitution for the modern world.
We The People takes the Constitution out of its display case, blows off the dust and re-imagines this piece of history for the next generation.
DK Reader Level 2: What Is an Election?
Packed with facts, kids will love learning about elected leaders from around the world, from Barack Obama to Nelson Mandela, and how they came to power.
With this nonfiction politics book, children will learn about where and how democracy began and how it has developed over the years.
What is an Election? is a new Level 2 title in the engaging four-level DK Readers series, aimed at children who are beginning to learn to read. Developing a lifelong love of reading, DK Readers cover a vast range of fascinating subjects to support children as they learn to read.