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Drawing the Vote: An Illustrated Guide to Voting in America
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Drawing the Vote: An Illustrated Guide to Voting in America

3.78  ·  Rating details ·  370 ratings  ·  84 reviews
How the history of American voting rights has shaped the way we vote today
Coinciding with the 2020 US presidential election, Drawing the Vote, an original graphic novel, looks at the history of voting rights in the United States and how it affects the way we vote today. Throughout the book, the author, Tommy Jenkins, identifies events and trends that led to the unpreced
Hardcover, 208 pages
Published April 21st 2020 by Abrams ComicArts
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Average rating 3.78  · 
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Dave Schaafsma
A dense and ambitious graphic history that links a long legacy of racism and sexism to the long history of voter suppression, gerrymandering, the resistance to women's right to vote and many other related issues. The Voting Rights Act makes its way into the narrative, of course, but so does foreign interference, the early closing of polling places, "hanging chads" and The Supreme Court's interference in the Bush-Gore election and the long problem with the Electoral College as arbiter of our elec ...more
Rod Brown
Jul 29, 2020 rated it liked it
A good introductory overview of the history of voting in America, illustrating the troubled journey to granting voting rights to everyone and the ongoing struggle to overcome voter suppression, disenfranchisement, systemic racism, and a multitude of political dirty tricks and crimes. The author wears his liberal bias on his sleeve, so likeminded souls like me will nod along while those of the opposite bent are unlikely to be persuaded on their points of contention.

Simultaneous to reading this gr
Samantha W.
I really enjoyed this. I related hard to the discussion about the 2016 election (Bern bright my friends) and the disillusionment of the voter in this country.

It is easy to feel like your vote doesn't matter. But when you take a look back at what people have done to earn the right to vote, not just for themselves, but for you as well... It makes you take that responsibility a bit more seriously.

I vote in every election. Do I feel like my voice is always heard? No. But did I voice my opinion? Yes
Jessica Haider
Nov 03, 2020 rated it really liked it
Graphic novel about the history of voting in America from colonial times through current day.
Edward Sullivan
The book would be better without the other discussing his own political leanings, but this otherwise a good graphic overview of the history of voting rights (and attempts to undermine them) in the United States.
Alex Shrugged
Jun 23, 2020 rated it did not like it
This is essentially fake news in the form of a comic book. The author has extensive references in the back of the book which I appreciate, but he makes a number of claims in the first few pages that I know are either incorrect or taken out of context in order to promote a certain point of view.

This is leftist Democrat propaganda. If you are a lefist Democrat then you will love this book, but I love reason, logic and objectivity, so I do not like this book. This book is nothing like objective.

(This review is of an Advance Reader Copy received at NYCC, and did not contain the Forward, Preface, or Timeline listed in the Table of Contents. It also states the final version will have color illustrations, while mine were in black and white. As such, my commentary is based on the main body of text.)

This book makes it immediately clear that it presents the history of voting as an attempt to answer the question "how can we look at history in a way that provides an explanation for the results
A fine civics lesson, if a little partisan for wide appeal.
Dakota Morgan
Jun 08, 2021 rated it really liked it
Four stars because it's an easy-reading history of the struggle to vote in America that would be broadly enjoyable and illuminating to readers. Simple, engaging pictures; quick hit sound-bites to drive home history. Drawing the Vote is well worth reading.

But! It's so very, very focused on our current electoral climate that I worry it'll be basically unreadable in five years. The author opens and closes the book with Trump's unlikely presidential victory - and uses it as an example of how a lack
Jun 14, 2020 rated it it was ok
I kept checking to see if this graphic novel was directed at children. I don't believe it was, it was just very dumbed down with silly things added to the illustrations like "stay over there, losers" when talking about segregation. The book likely tried to cover too much as it really brushed over a lot of topics and nothing hit home. May have also led to it feeling like something you'd see in children's history books. Briefly mention something and then quickly move on. I didn't find the art styl ...more
May 27, 2021 rated it liked it
Well, this took me on quite a ride. It was nice to have the history of voting distilled into one volume, but the author aimed for more breadth than depth. (ie: Native folks didn’t earn the right to vote until 1965, enduring much of the same barriers as African Americans…and no mention of Asian Americans, Latinx folks, disabled folks, etc)

As someone who was torn between Sandwrs and Clinton, I do remember voting for her due to realising the direction the nomination would go (not cool, past me!). T
Jun 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book should be read by every middle school and high school age student in this country. This book should be required reading for every citizen of this nation. It is clear, concise and presented in a simple down to earth no-nonsense way that make sit readily accessible. This is a book that has been desperately needed for decades.
Sheri S.
Oct 27, 2020 rated it really liked it
Interesting and informative...I learned a lot about the history of voting and the challenges women and African Americans faced to obtain voting rights. I hadn't been aware of the very early controversies with popular vs. electoral votes. (The first time that happened was in 1824.) The book emphasizes the importance of voting as a means of getting one's voice heard. ...more
Aug 29, 2020 rated it it was ok
It's beautifully drawn, and presents some good information. However, there are surprising omissions. Overall, it is confusingly organized, even to the point of rehashing the same events at different points. ...more
Aug 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Please buy this

And give it to all the young people you know. It's jam packed full of excellent historical fact and strongly makes the point that every vote counts.
Lee Petterson
Intriguing and interesting!
However, I'm not sure where I stand when it comes to how much I actually enjoyed it,,
3.5 stars.
Sep 20, 2020 rated it liked it
3.75 Stars Interesting read about the history of voting in a graphic novel format. It makes me appreciate my right to vote even more. I enjoyed the parts about the Birth of the Nation, Reconstruction and Jim Crow eras. The ending seemed somewhat rushed. Also, the author tends to lean left mostly in talking about the most recent elections with Obama and Trump.
Margaret Robbins
Jun 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book was really good and really helpful to me as I'm developing new Humanities units. Also, it reiterated the importance of voting. ...more
Very informative, but not incredibly boring. I think this would be great for people wanting to know more about the history of voting in a palatable way or for educators.
Charles Hatfield
Sep 13, 2021 rated it it was ok
Sadly, Drawing the Vote renders an urgent subject, voting rights, dull through plodding, uninspired, and muddled treatment.

Comics have a tremendous potential to teach, thanks to their multimodal nature, graphic design strategies, and sheer density of information. There are quite a few comics (by champion explainers like Larry Gonick) that manage to make info-crammed didactic presentations accessible, even thrilling. Drawing the Vote isn’t one of those, though. Vague, undramatic, mechanically chr
Ben Truong
Drawing the Vote: An Illustrated Guide to Voting in America is a graphic novel written by Tommy Jenkins and illustrated by Kati Lacker with an introduction by Martha S. Jones. This rapid-fire history illustrates the evolution of and challenges to U.S. voting rights from the colonial-era Stamp Act to modern voter ID laws.

Leading up to the 2018 midterm elections, Jenkins, a literature professor in North Carolina, asked his students if they planned to vote. To his dismay, only a few raised their ha
Oct 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Those who love the intersection of graphic books and history will enjoy this read. The history of voting is fraught with political infighting and (Hello, America!) racism.

You likely already know how much racism went into/goes into the laws that govern this country. It’s interesting to see it strictly from a voting perspective (although untangling voting from politics and history is impossible, of course).

Here we get the history of how Americans came to decide on who votes (where and how), then
Apr 30, 2020 rated it liked it
Voting Rights in the USA has a messy and complicated history. It would have been nicer if the book could have provided that information in a clearer manner.
Tommy Jenkins took on a big challenge, but his approach, trying to tease out separate groups' voting rights, don't work out well when the rights are tied together. Instead, the book jumps up and down the timeline trying to isolate stories, and then curving back into them in later chapters.
There's a lot of information provided, and a lot of i
Jul 05, 2020 rated it liked it
"Learning the history of voting is to learn the history of political and ideological struggles in America and the dramatic changes that shaped the country we know today."

I knew nothing about this book when I checked it out from the library other than the title and that it was a graphic novel. I'm not mad I spent time reading this (a whole 90 minutes) but I am a little upset that the book is clearly written from a biased source. I wish that had been made more clear to me. There was a whole chapte
Pat Mills
Nov 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I brought this stellar book home from the library on November 5th, the day after the American federal election. The election where Trump whined about cheating and had the nerve to say they were the victims of voter suppression. Wow. Crazy delusions or what? One would almost think the man had never read a history book or really anything literary or studious in decades. In the vein of "What is Stephen Harper Reading?", a book with thoughtful reading suggestions for the then Canadian Prime Minister ...more
Heather Johnson
May 18, 2021 rated it it was amazing
This graphic novel complements "One Person, No Vote: How Not All Voters Are Treated Equally," that I read earlier this school year. This graphic novel uses similar information to explain voting rights and laws that work to make voting more difficult for BIPOC populations. The chronological storytelling and chapters divided by historical eras makes the learning a true supplement to traditional U.S.History. I am grateful to all the authors who are working to highlight voter suppression and its imp ...more
This book doesn't even pretend to be objective, which I really appreciate. It has a point of view, a purpose, and isn't going to be quiet about recent events. This graphic novel is definitely written for kids, but I found it clear and informative, covering years of US history through the lens of voting rights and being blunt about our many, many failures. This includes the 2018 election and the voter suppression in Georgia. There are people who will reject this book because it can't pretend neut ...more
Jun 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I received a copy of Drawing the Vote as a Goodreads Giveaway. I received a black and white, uncorrected, advance reader copy.

I have been a longtime fan and advocate of graphic novels both in and out of the classroom. After reading this original work on voting rights in the United States, my first impression was it is a lot of information that is conveyed in a very interesting and even entertaining way.

I think Drawing the Vote will be an invaluable resource for American History/Civics teachers
Nicole Gauvreau
I saw this when scrolling through Hoopla a few weeks go, added it to my list of things to read later, and just read it.
This book makes no efforts to be non-partisan, but it also isn't hyper partisan, so I wouldn't say it's a bad book or resource based on partisanship. It also does provide some non-party affiliated resources for getting involved.
What this book truly is is (mostly) a (very simple) history of voting rights in the U.S., and NOT a guide to voting today or even much of a "why it's i
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