Democracy - according to Webster: "...a government in which the supreme power is vested in the people .... usually involving periodically held free elections."
Voting is a fundamental right in our democracy, but that wasn’t always the case. It wasn’t even guaranteed in the U.S. Constitution!
Initially the Founding Fathers wanted voting only for wealthy, white landowners, and then only to vote for members of Congress – not for senators, or the president. What a long way we have come from the days of the original Constitution! It took many years of struggle for African Americans (15th Amendment 1870 - Voting Rights Act of 1965) to be able to vote. Women won the right to vote in 1920, with the passage of the 19th Amendment. And young men and women, fighting and dying in Vietnam, inspired the passage of the 26th Amendment in 1971, empowering young adults, 18 years or older, to vote. ("Voting and the Electoral College Overview." Gale Student Resource Center. Detroit: Gale, 2011. Gale Student Resources In Context. Web. 15 Aug. 2012.) The opportunity to vote in free elections is becoming a treasured possibility for people in many countries around the world.
We are well into the 2012 election cycle, and the name-calling and misinformation is everywhere. As your library, we strive to provide you with reliable, unbiased information to help make sense of life every day, but especially where information is so skewed and so vitally important for all of us.
This is the first in a series on reliable information for this election. There are national offices to fill, but also local issues. We will give you tools and websites to explore that are nonpartisan, nonprofit, or original sources of raw data so you can make sense of the statistics, understand the influence of money, and simply check up on what the ads claim as "facts."
For today, be sure that you are registered to vote. Don't just think so, know so!
- The Colorado Secretary of State's Office is the official site for voter registration in Colorado, and for updating your information. Even if you have registered and voted in the past, you still could be listed as 'inactive.' You will want to confirm your status and request a permanent mail-in ballot.
- If you need to change your name or address, or find out the details for making your vote count if you are serving in the military or out of the country for other reasons, it's all at the Secretary of State website.
- The League of Women Voters' VOTE411.org is an easy to use site for election information nationwide.
- Voters needing language assistance should check out the U. S. Election Assistance Commission and their Voter's Guide to Federal Elections. The guide is available in 11 languages, including English, Cherokee, Chinese, Dakota, Japanese, Korean, Navajo, Spanish, Tagalog, Vietnamese, and Yupik.
You must register by Tuesday, October 9th to be eligible to vote in the 2012 election in Colorado.
You'll find more essentials for Elections here. And if you have questions or want assistance finding reliable information on this or any topic, contact our Reference Services Department on Level 3 of the Central Library, 720-865-1363 or email a reference question.
Next time we'll talk about sorting out the facts from the misinformation.
This is really helpful information. Thank you for taking the time to inform. Denver Public Library is the best!
Thank you so much! We're looking forward to sharing what we're learning on fact-checking, money in politics, understanding the polls, and more, so check back again!