Text and photographs document the ongoing struggle for voting rights in the United States, from the Constitution’s inception into early 2019.
This slim volume has 19 chapters with intriguing titles, including “How To Steal an Election” and “Voting From the Grave.” The prologue includes an interview with Jamie Azure, chairman of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians, who explains how a 2018 North Dakota election law effectively denied suffrage to previously enrolled Native Americans. The next chapters move backward to civil rights in the 1960s and only then to the Founding Fathers—a clever way to ensnare young readers. Accessible, journalistic text covers a good deal of all-things-election, including the history of suffrage extended beyond white, male landowners—and many documented stories of fraud, violence, and corruption carried out by both major parties over the years. It gradually returns full circle to 2018, carefully balancing opinions from current Democrats and Republicans as it reports on the 2013 Supreme Court’s partial dismantling of the 1965 Voting Rights Act; 2016 election controversies; and youth activism vis-à-vis the environment, gun laws, and 16-year-old suffrage. In general, there is excellent coverage of past and recent protest movements relating directly or indirectly to voting; gerrymandering commands an entire chapter. However, current protesting against the Electoral College is the unspoken elephant—or donkey—in the room. This is especially disturbing after the text properly describes its insidious undermining of voter equality.
Pithy and worthwhile. (timeline, relevant constitutional amendments, sources, index) (Nonfiction. 10-16)