This year’s Summer Reading theme is “Imagine Your Story.” Now, I know what you’re thinking, you clicked on this blog post to read about elections, not Summer Reading, but bear with me for a moment.
We here at Laramie County Library System have been encouraging readers to imagine their stories all summer long by diving into books, novels, graphic novels, audiobooks, poetry, and more, challenging each and every person to envision themselves in faraway places, distant lands, and magical adventures.
However, come election season, we are all called to participate in a more active and tangible version of imagination. Elections call on us to imagine the future of our nation, to envision our collective story, to consider where the country will go and how it will get there. Elections give rise to your dreams for the future, they give rise to your own voice in the story of our nation, and while libraries provide excellent fodder for magical imaginations, they also provide incredible resources for voters as they imagine the future.
Libraries have always been fundamental to functioning democracies by safeguarding, collecting, and providing information, free of charge and free of judgement. They act as the great equalizer, providing unbiased and unfettered information to anyone who needs or wants it. An informed electorate is as valuable to our nation as any other resource, and libraries believe in fostering that resource to the best of their abilities by providing unbiased, reliable, and factual resources and information.
In addition to information, the library holds the histories of renegades and patriots who laid their lives on the line for future generations of voters, from civil war heroes to suffragettes to civil rights leaders to contemporary activists. The library has books on people from Susan B. Anthony to Representative John Lewis, people who have worked and continue to work tirelessly to ensure that our nation’s electorate is diverse, inclusive, and truly representative of the American citizenry.
Libraries give rise to voices from all over the world, with a diverse and wide-ranging collection of materials; libraries also believe that your voice should be heard in electing candidates, whether they are running for local municipal seats or the office of the President of the United States. Because each state, city, and county has its own processes for voter registration, regulations for voting precincts, and requirements for voting, it can seem confusing to participate in elections, but the Laramie County Library System is here to assist in figuring it all out.
Visit the Ask Here desk on the third floor of the library to peruse our election binder, which includes:
- 2020 City of Cheyenne Wards and Precincts map
- 2020 Laramie County Rural Districts and Precincts map
- 2020 Laramie County Vote Centers information, including early voting and absentee voting
- Voter Registration Information
- Restoration of Voters Rights
- Wyoming Political Party Information
- Sample ballots, by District, 1-7
- 2020 General Election Ballot Issues
o Constitutional Amendment A
- Voter’s Guide – updated as information becomes available
o League of Women Voters Q & A with US Senate and US House of Representative candidates
o Wyoming Tribune Eagle Candidates Q&A
o Cheyenne Chamber’s ‘Pancakes & Politics’ dates for local races including mayor, city council, and county commissioners
We also have copies of the Wyoming Voter’s Guide to take home with you. You can explore our collection of nonfiction books, novels, graphic novels and more to research the history of voting and voting rights in America. If you have questions about anything, our staff is always here to help point you in the right direction as well.
So, as the election draws closer, we encourage you to start imagining our nation’s story and your role in it. Start thinking about the policies and changes you would like to see implemented and consider which candidates are best suited as leading characters in the future of our country. History is constantly being written by voters like you, and the shelves of libraries reflect your stories with every passing election, so make sure you are informed, make sure you are involved, and most importantly, make sure you vote.
Online Voting Resources:
Wyoming Secretary of State: https://sos.wyo.gov/Elections/Default.aspx
Wyoming Tribune Eagle’s Voter Guide: https://www.wyomingnews.com/news/elections/election_2020/
Laramie County Clerk: https://elections.laramiecountyclerk.com/
League of Women Voters Wyoming Voter Guide (local candidates for Albany County and City of Laramie, but good information on State and Federal races): https://www.wyominglwv.org/Elections/elections.html
*LWV supports an informed electorate and encourages engagement. They are non-partisan and support/oppose no candidate or party.
Explore our Collection:
Non Fiction and Historical
Jimmie Lee & James: Two Lives, Two Deaths, and the Movement that Changed America by Steve Fiffer and Adar Cohen
Stolen Justice: The struggle for African American Voting Rights by Lawrence Goldstone
Esther Hobart Morris: The Unembellished Story of the Nation’s First Female Judge by Kathryn Swim Cummings
Suffrage: Women’s Long Battle for the Vote by Ellen Carol DuBois
Songs of America: Patriotism, Protest, and the Music that Made a Nation by Jon Meacham and Tim McGraw
The Campaign Manager: Running and Winning Local Elections by Catherine Shaw
The Great Cowboy Strike: Bullets, Ballots & Class Conflicts in the American West by Mark A. Lause
Down for the Count: Dirty Elections and the Rotten History of Democracy in America by Andrew Gumbel
Give Us the Ballot: The Modern Struggle for Voting Rights in America by Ari Berman
Graphic Novels and Children
March by John Lewis, Andrew Aydin and Nate Powell
Amazons, Abolitionists, and Activists: A Graphic History of Women’s Fight for their Rights by Mikki Kendall
Suffragette: The Battle for Equality by David Roberts
Bad Kitty for President by Nick Bruel
Grace for President by Kelly DiPucchio
So You Want to Be President? By Judith St. George
Murder in Midtown: A Louise Faulk Mystery by Liz Freeland
Long Shot directed by Johnathan Levine
All the King’s Men by Robert Penn Warren
House of Cards produced by Netflix
Primary Colors by Joe Klein
Napoleon Dynamite by Jared Hess
The Manchurian Candidate directed by John Frankenheimer
Infomocracy by Malka Older
The Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling