If you’re going back to school this month, get a jump on your classmates and plan the subject for the essay(s) your teacher will inevitably assign you. If you want to make an impression, you can’t get more current or more controversial than voting rights. From the 2000 presidential recount to the 2013 Supreme Court decision to the newly formed Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity, there is plenty to read about and plenty to write about, at any grade level, from middle-school term paper to dissertation.
You can fill pages with analysis of what happened during just the last five presidential elections. Need a second paper? Talk about the 1965 Voting Rights Act, what led up to it and what happened afterward--who registered? who ran for office?--and the decades of wrangling over the new law that followed. Don't limit your focus to national contests, consider the law's effect on local and state races. Need a third paper to wrap up the semester? Go back to the Civil War and Reconstruction and hone your understanding of the history of voting in the U.S. Create a semester-arching, multi-paper event that will floor your professor, get you an outstanding grade, and make you an expert on the subject.
And, as you’ve surely guessed if you’ve read this far, Austin Public Library has the materials you need, on paper, on microform, and online.