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Elections and Voting Rights

Overview

This guide focuses on Federal elections and voting rights. Topics include voter registration, congressional and presidential elections, constitutional amendments, and information for kids. The highlighted information comes from various U.S. Government agencies and the U.S. Government Publishing Office (GPO).

De Lux election building and voting booth, Lanham, Md., [11/4/24]

Photograph, "De Lux election building and voting booth, Lanham, Md., 11/4/24" (Source: Library of Congress)

GPO Resources on Federal Elections and Voting Rights

GPO has information about Federal elections and voting rights. Click on each of the tabs in this box to see some of the featured resources from the Catalog of U.S. Government Publications (CGP)FDLP AcademyFDLP Resource Guides, and GovInfo.

Screenshot of Banner for Catalog of U.S. Government Publications (CGP)

The Catalog of U.S. Government Publications (CGP) is a free online resource of bibliographic records for U.S. Government publications. To learn more about how to use this catalog, check out CGP Search Tips/Help. The featured documents are hearings from 2020 and 2021 before the Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties of the House Committee on the Judiciary. Topics include the Voting Rights Act and voting rights during the COVID-19 pandemic.


Screenshot of "Protecting the right to vote during the COVID-19 pandemic by Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties of the House Committee on the Judiciary"

Protecting the right to vote during the COVID-19 pandemic by Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties of the House Committee on the Judiciary

  • Publication Date: June 3, 2020
  • Quoted excerpt: "The issue that we are here to discuss, protecting the right to vote during the COVID–19 pandemic, is intrinsically tied to the protests occurring across this Nation."
Screenshot of "The need to enhance the Voting Rights Act : preliminary injunctions, bail-in coverage, election observers, and notice by Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties of the House Committee on the Judiciary"

The need to enhance the Voting Rights Act : preliminary injunctions, bail-in coverage, election observers, and notice by Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties of the House Committee on the Judiciary

  • Publication Date: June 29, 2021
  • Quoted excerpt: "The need for such notice and transparency changes to voting measures are particularly acute at the local level where such changes can be otherwise hard to detect. These include last-minute changes to election procedures, changing to polling place resources, and changes in district lines."
Screenshot of "The implications of Brnovich v. Democratic National Committee and potential legislative responses by Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties of the House Committee on the Judiciary"

The implications of Brnovich v. Democratic National Committee and potential legislative responses by Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties of the House Committee on the Judiciary

  • Publication Date: July 16, 2021
  • Quoted excerpt: "Rights are only as strong and meaningful as the ability to enforce them. Among the most fundamental rights in our country is the right to vote, free from discrimination based on race or ethnicity."
Screenshot of "Democracy in danger : the assault on voting rights in Texas by Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties of the House Committee on the Judiciary"

Democracy in danger : the assault on voting rights in Texas by Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties of the House Committee on the Judiciary

  • Publication Date: July 29, 2021
  • Quoted excerpt: "We are here today to talk about the voting bills that are currently pending in the Texas legislature and how those bills are related to other voter suppression proposals in states across the country, specifically targeting voters of color and other vulnerable communities."

FDLP Academy Banner

The FDLP Academy offers free webinars and webcasts for Federal Depository Libraries and the general public. Its mission is to "create and deliver enhanced educational opportunities to the FDLP community by fostering collaboration, by facilitating knowledge sharing, and through the application of new methods and use of multiple mediums" about U.S. Government resources. The following webinars contain information related to elections and voting rights.


Screenshot of a slide from the FDLP Academy webinar, "Connecting with your Communities: Promoting Voter & Civic Engagement"

Connecting with your Communities: Promoting Voter & Civic Engagement 

  • Recorded on September 7, 2022
  • Length of Time: 37 minutes
  • Speaker: Kian Flynn (University of Washington, Seattle)
Screenshot of a slide from the FDLP Academy webinar, "Race, Voting Rights, and the Past: People, Moments, and Documents"

2020 FDL Conference: Thinking about Race, Voting Rights, and the Past: People, Moments, and Documents 

  • Recorded on October 23, 2020
  • Length of Time: 62 minutes
  • Speakers: Luis Fuentes-Rohwer (Indiana University); Jennifer Morgan (Indiana University); and Robbie Sittel (University of North Texas)
Screenshot of a slide from the FDLP Academy webinar, "The Federal Election Commission (FEC) and Federal Campaign Finance Law"

The Federal Election Commission (FEC) and Federal Campaign Finance Law 

  • Recorded on October 7, 2020
  • Length of Time: 59 minutes
  • Speaker: David Garr (Federal Election Commission)

If interested in learning more about topics that related to, but not specifically about, elections and voting rights, check out the following FDLP Resource Guide.


Screenshot of "U.S. Congress"

U.S. Congress

  • Read about information related to the U.S. Congress, including documents, information, and more.
  • Guide's Subjects/Tags: Legislation, Legislative Branch, U.S. Congress, U.S. Government, U.S. House of Representatives, U.S. Senate

Screenshot from GovInfo

GovInfo has featured collections on U.S. Government documents and topics. The following GovInfo links are on topics related to elections and voting rights.


Screenshot of "100th Anniversary of Women's Right to Vote" on GovInfo

100th Anniversary of Women’s Right to Vote

  • Check out related publications, including Public Laws and Proclamation, that pertain to the ratification of the 19th Amendment.
Screenshot of "Constitution Day and Citizenship Day" on GovInfo

Constitution Day and Citizenship Day

  • This online collection focuses on "commemorating the formation and signing of the U.S. Constitution, and recognizing those who have become U.S. citizens."
Screenshot of "Constitution of the United States of America: Analysis and Interpretation" on GovInfo

Constitution of the United States of America: Analysis and Interpretation

  • This online collection is known as the Constitution Annotated, which has interpretations and analyses with in-text annotations of U.S. Supreme Court rulings. GovInfo offers online editions and supplements of it from 1992 to the present.
Screenshot of "Presidential Inaugural Addresses" on GovInfo

Presidential Inaugural Addresses

  • From President Ulysses S. Grant to President Joseph R. Biden Jr., this collection has transcripts of Presidential inaugural addresses.
Screenshot of "The U.S. Electoral College" on GovInfo

The U.S. Electoral College

  • Read the proceedings in the Congressional Record from 1881 to the present in regards to 3 U.S. Code § 15 C.1, which "requires the Senate and House of Representatives to meet on the sixth day of January following every meeting of the electors to verify the certificates and count the votes of the electors."

U.S. Government Information on Voting Registration and Rights

There are many online U.S. Government resources regarding voting registration and rights. The featured agencies are the Federal Election Commission, Federal Voting Assistance Program (FVAP), and the U.S. Election Assistance Commission. Among the resources, this guide highlights FVAP.govvote.govUSA.gov, and the U.S. Census Bureau’s website on its voting and registration publications. Click on the tabs of this box to learn more.

vote.gov screenshot EAC seal FEC seal FVAP logo
U.S. Census Bureau logo
Featured Federal Agencies
Screenshot of "Federal Election Commission (FEC)" website

Federal Election Commission (FEC) 

  • As an independent regulatory agency, the FEC's mission is to "promote confidence and participation in the democratic process." Its jurisdiction concerns campaign financing for the Presidency, Vice Presidency, U.S. House, and U.S. Senate.
Screenshot of "Federal Voting Assistance Program (FVAP)" website

Federal Voting Assistance Program (FVAP) 

  • The purpose of FVAP is to "ensure Service members, their eligible family members, and overseas citizens are aware of their right to vote and have the tools and resources to successfully do so—from anywhere in the world."
Screenshot of "U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC)" website

U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC) 

  • As an independent, bipartisan commission, EAC was "established by the 'Help America Vote Act of 2002' to develop guidance to meet the Act's requirements. This online resource includes information on election official security, election audits, and resources for voters.

Voting and Elections Information
Screenshot of "Primary Elections by state and territory" website

Primary Elections by state and territory

FVAP.gov 

  • See the chart that lists when primary and general elections occur. For more specific election information, visit your state's election website.
Screenshot of "vote.gov"

vote.gov

General Services Administration (GSA) 

  • Established in 1949, the mission of GSA is to "provide stewardship of the way the government uses and provides real estate, acquisition services, and technology." This online resource's purpose is to provide an "authoritative, trusted source for voting information," including when and how to register to vote.
Screenshot of "Voting and Elections" website

Voting and Elections

USA.gov 

  • This online resource is a Federal interagency product. Learn more about local, state, and Congressional elections, voter registration, election laws, the Presidential election process, and more.
Screenshot of "Voting and Registration Publications" website

Voting and Registration Publications

U.S. Census Bureau 

  • The purpose of the Census Bureau is to "serve as the nation's leading provider of quality data about its people and economy." This webpage has various publications from 1854 to the present that are related to registration and voting.