November Staff Picks: Ballot Boxing: Winning & Losing the Right to Vote

"I still remember my dad taking me with him to vote in my elementary school gym. He wanted to impart serious lessons about hard-won freedoms and civic duty, but each time the Oil Crisis-era machines’ clunky levers appeared and disappeared behind the privacy curtains, voting just seemed like a boring, anticlimactic magic trick. As I got older, a number of factors changed my perspective: my mom became a U.S. citizen and relished her first trip to the voting booth; the saga of Florida’s butterfly ballots and hanging chads gripped my high school; my grandparents gleefully waited in line for hours to vote for Barack Obama; my whole family grieved that my grandparents didn’t live to see Obama re-elected. Somewhere in there I turned 18 and became a voter myself. I’m sure that the significance of voting is now dawning on younger generations through similar combinations of personal experience and political drama.

On November 7th, people across New York State will vote on whether to rewrite our state constitution. Locally, residents of New York City will cast ballots for a range of citywide offices, from mayor to all 51 seats of the city council. From primary sources to share in the classroom (see the curriculum kits A History of Political Parties in America, Woman Suffrage: The Fight for Equality, or Struggle for Black Voting Rights), to vividly-illustrated books for young readers (see Walter Dean Myers’s Ida B. Wells: Let the Truth Be Told, or Eileen Christelow’s Vote!), to historical perspective and unconventional wisdom for all of us striving to be informed citizens (see Roy Saltman’s The History and Politics of Voting Technology, Christopher Achen and Larry Bartels’s Democracy for Realists, or David Campbell’s Why We Vote), this month’s collection aims to provide insight into the history, implications, and processes of elections and voting in the U.S. for readers of all ages."
-- Curator's Statement

Ballot Boxing: Winning and Losing the Right to Vote is curated by Anika Paris, Library Services Associate.

Where: Second Floor

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