Empowering Voters

A Beginner’s Guide for Citizens, Policymakers, and Future Advocates

Non-Fiction - Self Help
Kindle Edition
Reviewed on 05/13/2024
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Jamie Michele for Readers' Favorite

In Empowering Voters: A Beginner’s Guide for Citizens, Policymakers, and Future Advocates, Maggy MacNikol examines the huge impact of elections on individuals' futures, leaning into the importance of informed voting in shaping community, regional, and national directions. She discusses the need for a new engagement framework for voters and speaks on the rapidly changing global landscape, and the critical importance of citizens' understanding of factors such as population growth, urbanization, and technology. MacNikol talks about citizens' rights and obligations, particularly the power of voting as a tool for self-expression and governance. She details the historical and artistic significance of Lorenzetti's fresco "Allegory of Good and Bad Government," contrasting the consequences of good and bad governance on society, and the enduring relevance of Lorenzetti's message. Throughout, MacNikol urges voters to remain discerning in this shifting landscape and the importance of informed voting decisions.

Maggy MacNikol does a fantastic job in Empowering Voters by stressing the need for a more knowledgeable electorate capable of understanding and participating in the policy-making process, equipping readers with the information necessary to make informed voting decisions. What I really like about MacNikol's work is how she is adamant that despite everything we are told to the contrary, citizen movements have genuine potency in effecting social change by rallying individuals around specific causes. Like a friend telling us how much we matter as individuals, and how strong our voices are, we are shown our role in challenging power structures, shaping public opinion, and driving policy shifts, as seen in movements like Sunrise and Black Lives Matter. These movements are personally close to my heart and MacNikol eloquently puts into words what collective action's capacity is for tangible impact. We must do better, and we must be louder in forcing policy reform and heightened awareness of societal issues.This book is absolutely one of the best places to start. Very highly recommended.

Courtnee Turner Hoyle

In Empowering Voters: A Beginner’s Guide for Citizens, Policymakers, and Future Advocates by Maggy MacNickol, the author helps readers understand how to make informed choices when approaching the ballot and presents a framework for implementing ideas. MacNikol discusses social, economic, and cultural factors that may limit knowledge about certain rights. Through her fictional town, Greenville, she details key issues, strengthening readers' voting intellect and encouraging participation in voting and voting issues. MacNikol offers readers a chance to participate in a "real-life laboratory," providing them with resources and questions to help their communities and become more informed voters. The author outlines the need for policymakers to respond to people's needs, and how their decisions affect their constituents' daily lives.

Maggy MacNikol has worked with the government and nonprofit sectors and wants everyone to have justice and dignity. Without belonging to a particular political party, MacNikol presents her views and reminds readers we may not make the decisions in government, but we choose who makes those selections. The short stories were relatable, and the LAB Guidelines were instrumental in my reflection on each situation to determine the way I truly felt about it. The characters in her stories conveyed authentic concerns and aided in comprehending the content. The author helps readers understand the importance of their voice in elections and reveals statistics about important topics. MacNikol delivers pertinent information every citizen should know, and I'm going to share the book with my teenage daughter who will be voting soon. Empowering Voters is a good selection for concerned citizens or policymakers who are ready to make a difference.

Zahid Sheikh

Empowering Voters: A Beginner’s Handbook for Citizens, Policymakers, and Future Advocates by Maggy MacNikol is a complete guide to civic engagement and political participation. It acts as a guide for those willing to explore government structures by understanding what are the rights and duties of citizens, and at the same time how they can be effective agents of change in their communities. This book starts by explaining key concepts that include democracy, the function of government, and civic participation. The author focuses in depth on subjects like the Electoral College, the duties of each branch of the government, and why voting rights are important.

The distinctive feature of Empowering Voters is orientation toward the practical aspects. Maggy MacNikol not only educates readers but equips them with the necessary tools and strategies to become effective advocates for change. It includes calling the legislators, joining community activists, or running for public office. The book highlights the author’s patriotism and attachment to public service. The author's writing style is clear and coherent. The explanations are simple and easy to follow, making the complex political concepts understandable. The book has elements of freshness and authenticity, which motivates readers to continue turning the pages. Empowering Voters is a must-read for everyone interested in gaining more knowledge about involvement in civics and making a significant difference in their communities. It is both an educational resource and a call to action for readers to be active participants in the process of society's future.

Tommy Wong

Empowering Voters: A Beginner’s Guide for Citizens, Policymakers, and Future Advocates by Maggy MacNikol provides information to voters so that they know the power of their vote and how to make better decisions when voting. This book actually goes well beyond voting. It also encourages voters to get involved in the political process after voting. As such, the book’s coverage is extensive. It starts with a discussion on the role of a voter. It then discusses leadership and society, the process of community change, the policy process, the power of collaboration, advocacy, and lobbying, the role of the context in decoding the vote, and finally, navigating the currents of political marketing and social media influence.

In a democratic process, citizens’ votes have the power to elect officials who will shape the course of their communities, regions, and countries. Hence, the importance of voting in an election cannot be overstated; it is the foundation of democracy. I really liked the author’s clever use of a story at the beginning of each chapter to slowly bring readers into the chapter. I also liked the two sections at the end of each chapter. The section “LAB Guideline” not only summarizes the key issues in the chapter but also encourages readers to think deeper about the issues, while the section “Thinking LAB” contains reflective questions that are designed to foster a culture of learning and improvement. Empowering Voters by Maggy MacNikol is a valuable resource for citizens who want to make a difference in their communities and use their votes to shape the future of their local communities, their country, and their nation.

Frank Mutuma

For one reason or another, some citizens do not participate in elections, despite this being an important exercise that affects not only political but also social and economic well-being. Elections are a way in which citizens participate in shaping their communities. The campaign period allows the candidates to sell their brand to the voters. But can we confidently say that what is promised by politicians is what they deliver once in office? How do government policies work, and how can we make them effective? Empowering Voters by Maggy MacNikol discusses the role of government to its citizens and the role of the citizens in ensuring there is a good government in place. Bad governance always leads to bad outcomes, while good governance provides an effective government for all its citizens. 

Empowering Voters by Maggy MacNikol is an eye-opener on many issues affecting society. The bad state of affairs in some communities can cause voter apathy, but this book communicates uniquely why citizens should not give up voting. I loved the examples provided, like that of Lorenzetti's fresco on good and bad governance. The guide also provided by Maggy at the end of each chapter made the book very effective in passing on the intended message. Another thing that caught my eye in this thought-provoking work was the issue of gerrymandering and other ways used to shortchange the voter. This book is a must-read, and I believe readers will appreciate the insights provided. I look forward to reading something else on civil matters by this talented author.