The Instigator
corporealbeing
Pro (for)
Tied
0 Points
The Contender
kyleflanagan97
Con (against)
Tied
0 Points

U.S. citizens should be required to take a test before voting.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/30/2016 Category: Politics
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 281 times Debate No: 92080
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (1)
Votes (0)

 

corporealbeing

Pro

Here are the rules I've set for this debate:

- The first round will be accepting the challenge only.
- The final round will be our closing arguments, and no new evidence will be brought up.
- We will not personally attack each other or resort to ad hominems.
- Data must be backed by credible sources.
kyleflanagan97

Con

U.S. citizens should not be required to take a test before voting.
Debate Round No. 1
corporealbeing

Pro

I'm going to make this argument simple, since it is basically my opening.

I believe voters should have to take a political knowledge test before they vote. Not a literacy test. Just a test to see if your vote is blind or educated. I'd like to start off with a quote.

"It seems that present-day elections are no longer about the candidate or proposition with the most appealing content, but rather the candidate or proposition with the best-edited commercial, the brightest colors or the most memorable slogan. In essence, ignorance and superficiality have taken a stronghold on our voting system. People, more than ever before, are voting without knowing what they're voting for." - Isaac Mohr [1]

An example of voter ignorance: Only 38% of Americans know that the Republican Party controls the House of Representatives. There is a similar percentage of Americans who are aware of Democrats currant control of the Senate.

The votes of ignorant U.S. citizens can be detrimental to our system. It's one thing if people don't vote at all, but if Americans blindly vote for someone in their party, or even someone whose name sounds good, they are polluting an election.

The test world be a simple and easy test. It would test the voters' political knowledge knowledge, such as the candidates' parties, stated goals and plans, etc.

I await your reply.

Citations:

[1] http://www.cbsnews.com...
[2] http://www.forbes.com...
kyleflanagan97

Con

There is voter ignorance absolutely, but the problem is not caused by those who vote, it is by those who do not vote. Since 1982 congressional election, there have never been more than 50% voter turnout for a congressional race [1]. Informing voters is not a bad thing, but a test on ones knowledge, whether it is done intentionally or not, will limit peoples ability to vote and infringe on their rights as American citizens. People in the state of Arizona were waiting 5 hours to cast their vote[2], by adding a test you will lengthen this time for those who can make the time to vote. And for those who do not have the time it will simply lead to even poorer voter turnout and and an even more polluted election. And while the test may seem simple, for those who can't read or write, or speak english, it is just as challenging as a literacy test.
Debate Round No. 2
corporealbeing

Pro

I see, so this has essetially become a debate about which is worse: voter ignorance or low voter turnout. Very well.

I would first like to address that low voter turnout is not objectivly a bad thing, but can lead to underrepresentation, and there are ways of fixing that. The poor vote less, as well as young adults and minorites. [1] [2] A way to increase voter turnout and to lessen voter ignorance would be to pay voters for voting. [3] If voters are to be paid for voting, this will give the poor (and everyone) an incentive to vote, and an incentive to become more politically knowledgable.

If you pass the test, you get money, and your vote was fairly educated. It's a win-win.

Paying voters and giving them a relativly easy political knowledge test work well together, but just paying voters without the test (which would increae voter turnout) is a bad idea.

This is because many people who would not vote begin to vote, ignorantly. Higher voter turnout with increased voter ignorance is detrimental. Ignorant, misiformed, irrational votes affect the lives if politically informed people. [1]

Therefore, I believe voters should have to take a political knowledge test, and to make up for less voters, the voters who pass can be paid.

Citations:

[1] https://www.americanprogress.org...
[2] https://www.boundless.com...
[3] https://www.washingtonpost.com...
kyleflanagan97

Con

I would argue that paying people to vote would not be a reasonable way to increase voter turnout, the poor do not vote because they want money out of it. It is because they feel as though they aren't represented and do not think its worth the time if there vote does not count. And by implementing a test that slows that process down even more it would simply lead to a larger loss in voter turnout. How much would you offer to vote? The amount offered would have to be a state decision, which would just lead to political corruption. States that are predominately one party would offer almost no payment so that voter turnout doesn't change, while battleground states would offer incentives making them even more important to candidates, which would just corrupt the system even more.

I am not suggesting paying voters at all.

But to further illustrate the flaw in paying individuals to show up to vote. You have to consider that many of them are at work and cannot lose the 1-4 hours of work. So in order to incentivize them to show up to vote you have to at least meet their requirement for work. So assuming everyone who voted was payed minimum wage, and there were 126 million people who voted in the 2012 election[1]. so with simple math (126 million x 7.25 minimum wage) =913.5 million dollars. And assuming this process worked you would have higher voter turnout meaning that this price would be higher. By offering a billion dollars in incentives to vote, you are basically bribing for votes. The cost of the 2012 presidential election was 6 billion, so we would have a massive increase in the cost of a presidential election.[1]

Sources:

http://bipartisanpolicy.org...
Debate Round No. 3
corporealbeing

Pro

corporealbeing forfeited this round.
kyleflanagan97

Con

By forfeiting I assume Pro has surrendered the debate.
Debate Round No. 4
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by kyleflanagan97 1 year ago
kyleflanagan97
forgot to put my sources for round 2

1: https://www.census.gov...
2: http://www.azcentral.com...
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