"The right to vote must be open to our citizens irrespective of race, color, or creed. . . . The sooner we get to that basis of political equality the better it will be for the country as a whole."
— Franklin D. Roosevelt
The United States has come a long way in guaranteeing people the right to vote. Both political parties work to register new voters from specific constituencies. They know that the millions of citizens who are not registered have the potential to influence the outcome of elections. But according to journalist Erin Geiger Smith, an alarming problem is that statistics show each successive generation voting at rates lower than the one before it. In the 2016 presidential election, 40% of all eligible Americans and 50% of the young adults did not vote.
Many factors affect this reality. Some remain cynical about corruption in government. Other constituencies do not feel their needs are addressed, depressing their desire to participate in the political process. And this is too bad, given how much time and energy has been spent over the years winning the right to vote for African Americans, Asian Americans, and women. This book includes a history of voting rights that will be of interest to both seasoned voters and young people.
Credit must be given to Smith for her efforts to explain the complicated dimensions of gerrymandering, the Electoral College, and the impact of social media. Best of all, the author includes a practical checklist to prepare to vote and encourage others to do so during this important presidential election year.