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Voting Guide

Everything you need to encourage and manage student voting.

Voting for the Texas Bluebonnet Award-winning book occurs in January, and the winner is announced in February. Votes from your institution must be tabulated and submitted by midnight on January 31. You must report the number of voters by grade level, and the number of votes for each book.

Students may vote online or use traditional paper ballots. If you use the paper ballots, you must prepare one for each student. Eligible voters:

  • are enrolled in grades 3 – 6 in a public, private, or home school program;
  • are enrolled in a registered school, are participating in the reading program at their registered public library;
  • have read (or heard read aloud) at least five of the Texas Bluebonnet Award Master List books.

Online Voting

  • Select your institution from the drop-down list. (Charter Schools will be under ‘Charter School’ in the school district drop down box). When the voting pages are activated you will see the voting buttons appear at the bottom of the screen, if your institution is registered. Please note that these buttons will become active when voting begins on January 1.
  • Choose “Teacher Registration” to register each teacher whose class will be voting at your institution, and be sure to register them for the appropriate grade level they teach. If a teacher teaches multiple grade levels they will need to be registered once for each grade they teach.
  • At public libraries, the children’s librarian should enter their name once for each grade level, or you can simply enter “Librarian” for grade 3, “Librarian” for grade 4, and so on. If you make any errors, you can “Edit” to change the librarian’s name or grade level, or “Delete” to delete registered teacher completely (Note: You may only delete a teacher if no votes have been cast yet for that teacher’s class).
  • If the faculty at your school would like to cast votes for fun, you can select “Faculty” as the grade level for a class, and assign any name as the “teacher” of that class. (Faculty votes will not be included in final voting totals submitted for your school).
  • Choose “Student Voting” to begin casting votes. This will bring up a list of all nominated books, and the student will click on the image or title of their favorite book. The next page will ask them to enter their first name, last initial, teacher’s name, and student ID number. Note: Student ID numbers are entered to assure that duplicate votes have not been cast by a student.
  • If your students do not have an ID number or if you prefer not to use their student ID for any reason, you can assign each voter a unique number or they may use their library card number (at public libraries). This number is not used by TLA for any other purpose other than detecting duplicate votes.
  • Once a vote is cast, the site will return to the book selection screen to allow the next vote to be cast.
  • Once ALL votes have been cast at your institution, the librarian will submit the votes for the entire institution by choosing “Submit Ballots to TLA.

Paper Ballot Voting

  • Either duplicate our sample ballot or design your own. If you design your own, include a place for children to mark their grade levels; you will be asked to report the number of voters by grade level as well as the number of votes for each book.
  • You will be responsible for tallying the votes from your institution and reporting the total number of votes for each title and the numbers of youngsters voting at each grade level.
  • Report your total votes online. You do not need to mail the hard copy ballots as a backup.
  • Vote totals must be reported to the TBA office by midnight, January 31. Be sure to allow enough time to complete this process.

2019 2020 TBA Paper Ballot

Submitting Ballots Online

  • Select your institution from the drop-down list. If your institution is registered, you will see the voting buttons appear at the bottom of the screen. (Please note, these buttons will not be active until voting begins on January 1).
  • Choose Submit Ballots. Enter your institution’s PIN number. If you do not know your PIN, select Forgot PIN and it will be displayed.
  • Choose Go to Ballot. Enter the vote totals for each book (if you conducted voting online, these fields will already be filled in for you). Use the Tab key to move from box to box.The system will automatically total the votes in the Total of Votes Cast box. Enter the number of voters by grade level at the bottom of the ballot. The total number of voters should match the total number of votes cast. If the totals do not match, you will be given the opportunity to make corrections. (Again, if you conducted online voting, these totals will all be filled in for you).
  • Enter the name of the person filling out the ballot and Submit.
  • Print your confirmation page for your records. You will also be sent an email with the voting totals you submitted. Please retain a record of the voting totals for your institution in the event that a problem occurs during vote submission.


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