“If you want to celebrate your essential right as a citizen and encourage others to do the same, Thank You for Voting provides an engaging and concise tutorial of what it means to cast your ballot—past, present, and future. Read this book! (And be sure to vote.)” —Ann Patchett
A concise, lively look at voting in America, including insights into why so few Americans today vote and innovative ways to educate and motivate them—updated with a new epilogue analyzing the 2020 election.
Voting is a prized American right. The 2018 midterm elections saw record turnout—more than 110 million Americans cast ballots. Yet about half of those eligible did not participate. Why isn’t voter turnout higher, and what can we do about it?
The problem, Erin Geiger Smith contends, is a lack of understanding about how our electoral system works and too little appreciation for the power of voting. To inspire action, she looks at the voting process from the Framers’ perspective through the Voting Rights Act to the present, examining the difficult and inspiring stories of how different groups got the right to vote, state prohibitions against felons voting, charges of fraud and suppression, and new methods to increase voter registration. She explains topics that confuse even the most informed voters: polling, news literacy, gerrymandering, and the Electoral College. And she explores how age, race, and socioeconomic factors influence turnout.
Most important, Geiger Smith outlines simple actions everyone should take to increase civic participation in elections, and reveals how innovative get-out-the-vote movements energize first-time voters. Informative and empowering—and with a new epilogue analyzing the 2020 election—Thank You for Voting is an essential call to the polls.
Erin Geiger Smith is a journalist who has written for the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times among other leading publications, and has worked at Reuters covering legal news. She graduated from Columbia's Graduate School of Journalism, the University of Texas School of Law, and the University of Texas at Austin. She lives in New York City with her husband and son.
“Illuminating and accessible . . . . This is an excellent resource for first-time voters and activists hoping to motivate young people to get to the polls.” — Publishers Weekly
“Journalist Smith’s debut serves as both a history of voting rights in the United States and an instructional tool for voters. 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.”
— Library Journal
“If you want to celebrate your essential right as a citizen and encourage others to do the same, Thank You for Voting provides an engaging and concise tutorial of what it means to cast your ballot—past, present, and future. Read this book! (And be sure to vote.)” — Ann Patchett