Our Democracy Un-Spun! #10 Get out there and VOTE!

In the 1948 election, Thomas E. Dewey was projected to trounce President Harry S. Truman by a wide margin. Dewey was then the Governor of New York, and was considered stiff and pompous, "...the only man who could strut sitting down," some said. None the less, the polls were predicting a landslide in his favor.

The Chicago Tribune would be the first to report it in their early edition, with the famous headline, "Dewey Defeats Truman." Instead Truman won by more than two million popular and 114 electoral votes.

Remember the 2000 election race between George W. Bush and Al Gore? Although election day was November 7th, we didn't know the outcome of that race until the United States Supreme Court ruled in favor of Bush on December 12th. Gore had won the national popular vote by over 500,000 votes, but Bush took Florida, and therefore the electoral win, by a mere 537 votes.  Remember the 'hanging chads,' the battle in the courts, and the issues of integrity with voting machines? PBS provides a summary of this historic election, and our Reference Department has a vast array of magazine, newspaper and government sources bringing every element of this historic event to life.

       Your vote counts!

So study your candidates and issues, ask the questions you need answers to, and get your vote in, whether by early voting, mail in ballot, or at the polls on election day. However you vote, be sure you bring the necessary identification!  Under Colorado law, individuals are required to produce identification in order to register or to vote in person. Individuals are also required to include a copy of one of the forms of ID in their mail ballot if they are a first-time voter and registered by mail or without presenting ID in person. (Mail ballots requiring identification will indicate this on the ballot.)

Did you know that early voting has been going on in some other states for weeks already?  Here in Colorado, early voting began on October 22nd. Mail ballots began going out to voters on October 15th, but only if you requested one. The details for Denver voting, including pros and cons of the issues, are spelled out in the Denver Notice of Election and Sample Ballot from the Denver Election Commission. The Colorado Legislative Council provides the 2012 Blue Book in English, Spanish & Audio.  And don't forget the Judges

Election Day Problems?

See Special Situations at the Denver Election Commission. No voter may be turned away without casting, at least, a provisional ballot, under provisions of the Help America Vote Act.

If you need help, call one of these hotlines:

The League of Women Voter’s VOTER HOTLINE at 303-863-VOTE (8683)
1-866-MYVOTE1 (866-698-6831)
1-866-OUR-VOTE (866-687-8683)
1-888-VE-Y-VOTA (en español)

You'll find more on Elections here.  And if you have questions or want assistance finding reliable information on this or any topic, contact our Reference Services Department on the 3rd Level of the Central Library, 720-865-1363 or email. Students who want to explore our great collections for National History Day or other projects, can sign up for an appointment.

Written by Elaine on October 17, 2012

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