Thank You for Voting: The Maddening, Enlightening, Inspiring Truth About Voting in America

Harper: HarperCollins. Jun. 2020. 256p. ISBN 9780062934826. $25.99. POL SCI
Journalist Smith’s debut serves as both a history of voting rights in the United States and an instructional tool for voters. Smith balances the historic struggles for voting rights, including the passage of the 1965 Voting Rights Act, with issues of voting suppression and intimidation that are currently affecting modern voter turnout throughout the country. She addresses some of the difficulties surrounding voting in America, which she contends are partly to blame for low voter turnout in the 2016 presidential election, wherein more than half of the nation’s adults did not vote. This book also serves as a primer on challenges to American democracy including gerrymandering and issues with the Electoral College, and it highlights movements and activists across the U.S. who are working toward change. Included in the back matter are checklists for voters on how to prepare for election day and a sample voting pledge for friends and family.
VERDICT Smith’s resource will appeal to those looking for a short introduction to voting rights; readers will appreciate her hopeful message forecasting a nonpartisan future of increasing voter participation.
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