Fraud at the Ballot Box
Fraud at the Ballot Box brings Sandy, Bobbi and Lizbet face to face with the reality of systemic racism and sexism in mid-twentieth century America.
When the girls' parents arrive at the polling place to vote for Prairieview City Council members and a new mayor, the Sheridans are abruptly turned away with sham excuses that smack of racism.
The "Private Eyes Detectives" are determined to uncover who is behind this attack on democracy and voting rights, made all the more pressing because of Lizbet's withdrawn reaction.
At the Prairieview Public Library, Sandy, Bobbi and Lizbet research the history of voting rights. They discover how Alice Paul worked to strengthen access to voting for all citizens. She later wrote the 1923 Equal Rights Amendment (originally named the Lucretia Mott Amendment). Two angry white women object to the three girls being together and specially to Lizbet being in the library at all. "What is that girl doing here in our library?"
The girls journey back in their magic cart drawn by Red the chestnut pony, for a 1923 visit with Alice Paul in Mt. Laurel, New Jersey to investigate how she struggled for equal rights and voting access for all. She encourages them to persist.
The trio arrives back home to learn that the Troux, Power and Sheridan families have invited the NAACP Civil rights activist Daisy Bates and her assistant Sophie Mae Holbrook to a public meeting. They have also invited Alice Paul, who is back in America, to speak about her international rights activism and lifelong fight for equality.
Sandy urges the new mayor to attend. She overhears a suspicious meeting in the Registrar of Voters office. Bobbi and Lizbet come to City Hall to meet her and discover she is missing. Bobbi and Lizbet put on their detective "hats" and figure out where and by whom she has been imprisoned. The three reveal who is behind the fraud at the ballot box. At the next election, Delores Sheridan is first in line at the polling place.