Spotlight on Voter Registration and Election Resources at OFPL

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed voters can change the world. It is the only thing that ever has.”    ― Margaret Mead

register-to-vote

Election Day is November 6, and the O’Fallon Public Library has many resources to support and help inform voters.

First, there is still time to register to vote if you are new to the area or if you are a first-time voter. 

Election voter

“Democracy cannot succeed unless those who express their choice are prepared to choose wisely. The real safeguard of democracy, therefore, is education.” 
 ― Franklin D. Roosevelt

On our website, there are links to sites where voters can get their questions answered. You can learn about early voting and polling locations through our link to the County Clerk’s office.  Find out if you’re registered to vote in Illinois through our link to the State Board of Elections.  Enter your address to find all of your state officials, complete with contact information at the bottom of our Elections and Voting webpage.  There are also links to Official Political Party Websites

Election Info 1

“Being adequately informed is a democratic duty, just as the vote is a democratic right. A misinformed electorate, voting without knowledge, is not a true democracy.”                         ― Jay Griffiths

It is also important to be informed and in addition to the paper copies of the Belleville News-Democrat, St. Louis Post Dispatch, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today, patrons can access digital copies of these and other newspapers from across the country and around the world through our online resource newsbank.com. First, go to our Databases Page found under Research under the eResources icon.

Newspapers

Then, click on “America’s News” on our eResources page.America's News.JPG

Elections belong to the people. It’s their decision. If they decide to turn their back on the fire and burn their behinds, then they will just have to sit on their blisters.                                     ― Abraham Lincoln

In addition to all of our online resources, we also have a wide variety of books that provide a close look at a variety of topics that affect how voters vote and offer multiple perspectives.  Here are just two examples:    

Political Elite.jpg

The Political Elite and Special Interests edited by Rachel Bozek -There is a growing sense that government is no longer of the people, by the people, and for the people. Many believe that society is manipulated by a handful of political elites and special interests. But why does each party feel that it is the elites and special interests of the other party who are in control of things? Does one person one vote still hold sway? Is this still a citizen democracy, or has it evolved into an oligarchy? Whose voice and vote really count? These and other questions and debates concerning power, influence, and who wields it are at the center of this collection of articles drawn from across the political spectrum.

 

Politicians

Politicians on Social Media edited by Pete Schauer -The rise of social media has changed politics forever. No longer must citizens go through the trouble of writing letters to their representatives to be heard. In turn, politicians have been given a direct line to their constituents. Is this accessibility an asset or a liability? How has the use of social media changed the campaign and election process? What happens when the president blocks you on Twitter? The thought-provoking viewpoints in this volume explore the finer points of a newly emerging controversy.

 

 

In case you need some inspiration on what was sacrificed in order for US citizens to get the right to vote, we have a number of fiction and non-fiction titles including these two below.

Ethan Allen

Those Turbulent Sons of Freedom by Christopher S. Wren – Wren overturns the myth of Ethan Allen as a legendary hero of the American Revolution and a patriotic son of Vermont, and offers a different portrait of Allen and his Green Mountain Boys. They were ruffians who joined the rush for cheap land on the northern frontier of the colonies in the years before the American Revolution. Allen did not serve in the Continental Army but he raced Benedict Arnold for the famous seizure of Britain’s Fort Ticonderoga. Allen and Arnold loathed each other. General George Washington, leery of Allen, refused to give him troops. In a botched attempt to capture Montreal against specific orders of the commanding American general, Allen was captured in 1775 and shipped to England to be hanged. Freed in 1778, he spent the rest of his time negotiating with the British but failing to bring Vermont back under British rule. Based on original archival research, this is a groundbreaking account of an important and little-known front of the Revolutionary War, of George Washington (and his good sense), and of a major American myth.

Woman's Hour

The Woman’s Hour: The Great Fight to Win the Vote by Elaine Weiss – An account of the last campaign and climactic vote for the ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment to the Constitution that granted voting rights to women. Nashville, August 1920. Thirty-five states have ratified the Nineteenth Amendment, twelve have rejected or refused to vote, and one last state is needed. It all comes down to Tennessee, the moment of truth for the suffragists, after a seven-decade crusade. The opposing forces include politicians with careers at stake, liquor companies, railroad magnates, and a lot of racists who don’t want black women voting. And then there are the “Antis”–women who oppose their own enfranchisement, fearing suffrage will bring about the moral collapse of the nation. They all converge one boiling hot summer for a vicious face-off replete with dirty tricks, betrayals and bribes, bigotry, Jack Daniel’s, and the Bible.

Franklin D. Roosevelt said, “Nobody will ever deprive the American people of the right to vote except the American people themselves, and the only way they could do this is by not voting.

It’s every citizen’s responsibility to cast an informed vote.  

See you at the polls!

 

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