Vote! An Election Year Button Contest (For Young Adults)

2020 is not only an election year — it’s also the 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage (the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was ratified in August, 1920).

But students of history know that that’s not the whole story. While the 19th Amendment officially granted women the right to vote, in practice not all women were welcomed at the polling booths. Further, Black Americans were legally excluded from the polls until the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, though the struggle for full voting rights for all Americans continues to this day.

To honor the struggle for voting rights both past and present, Lilly invites its Young Adult patrons to participate in a contest. Using the template provided, design a button that speaks to any (or all) of the following:

  • The history of the struggle for voting rights
  • Lack of voting rights for children
  • The state of voting rights today
  • Encouragement to vote
  • The importance of voting

Lilly asks that designs not venture into the question of who or what party to vote for in this or any other election, but to focus on the act of (and struggle for) voting itself. Further, Lilly understands the complexity of encouraging Young Adults, many of whom may not legally vote due to their age, to engage in a contest of this manner. 

Button submissions will be voted on by Lilly patrons. Three winners will be chosen, and their buttons will go into very limited production (all three winners will receive several copies of their button for posterity and handing out to family and friends). The grand prize winner (the design that received the most votes) will also receive a copy of the book One Person, No Vote by Carol Anderson.

Design entries are due to YA librarian Alison Baitz ( by October 20th. Entrants may email scans or photographs of their entries; they may also arrange with Lilly to drop off their entries. With your entry, please include your full name, your age (to confirm eligibility) and contact information. Please, only one entry per person.

To print the entry form at home, save this file [PDF].

There will also be copies of the entry form available outside the library any time the library is typically open (see the homepage for hours.)

Questions? Email Alison at Happy designing!