I think that people need to be educated in order to make an informed vote. Uninformed voters lead to a decline in accuracy. It makes the system more democratic. If you don't want to vote- thats fine - but don't complain about things not being done in the community, state, or world.
You are given a vote to ensure accuracy and democracy. Either use it to your advantage or dont.
If you are voting , YES, you should have to be able to pass a general knowledge test, otherwise you get people who are voting for things such as the Green Party in Canada strictly because they don't know who else to vote for. If you don't know what is happening in the world or where your resources are coming from etc etc how are you to make an educated vote or create an opinion without being bias - which, might I add is the who basis of Democracy.
There are many people, irrespective of age,religion or socio-economic background, who make un-informed decisions when it comes to vote. People who dont know elementary facts like what is their country or state's population, or what are the main economic challenges currently being faced by their society, or the basic resources of their area. Add to that voters who make emotional decisions like voting on the basis of caste,race or religion. There are even those who vote for the party who offers them a free drink on election eve! Such votes are irresponsible and contribute to selection of un-worthy candidates. Yes, voting is a right, but if you're going to hamper the progress of your country with that right then it goes against the very principle of inclusive growth. Such tests need not be ridiculously tough, voters themselves could be asked to form committees to decide what constitutes a 'basic level of awareness' (keeping politicians out of the process). This would go a long way in ensuring responsible and informed voting which will further strengthen the spirit of democracy in the long run. We must be open to change if we want to improve our future.
A person who passes a "current affairs" test is a person who is truly interested in politics. The test can be created by a wide variety of people to keep it politically neutral.
The current age-based system may be slightly easier for the gov., but it is the worst. It allows a 30 year old who votes based on looks to vote, while punishing gifted teenagers who would vote better than the average adult.
A test is fair. It judges people based on WHO they are, not WHAT they are.
It technically makes the system more democratic, people's voices can be heard clearer on their actual political opinions based on an actual reasonable foundation rather than having any old mindless person walking in and selecting whatever or whoever. Obviously the test should be made so that it allows anyone who wants to vote to vote, but the test should basically bars out anyone who just decides on a whim to vote, or anyone who doesn't even know the stance of certain parties in parliament/congress. I think anyone that doesn't have a good knowledge of current affairs but can explain coherently who they want to choose and why should be allowed to vote, although I suppose it could bring with it a whole host of other problems such as biased judges etc.
Uninformed and uneducated voters help make our political process simpler, meaner, and dumber. If someone does not understand the current affairs of his country, state, or city, there is little reason to believe that he would be able to make an appropriate decision about the subsequent policies. If there is reason to believe he cannot make a good decision about policy, he has no business participating in an election.
Amendments XV, XIX, XXIV, and XXVI to the Constitution only say that you cannot deny someone a vote on account of race, sex, failure to pay tax, or age after the individual reaches 18. There is no constitutional right to vote.
Imposing a test on people in order to allow them to vote fundamentally undermines the key assumption of a democratic society, public ownership. Subjecting people to an arbitrary test in order to be allowed to vote would demolish democracy.
Firstly there is no easily definable level of 'awareness' that makes a person 'suitable' to vote, that is a judgement that no-one could feasibly make and risks getting dangerously close to the 'how many bubbles in a bar of soap' questions inflicted on minority ethnic groups in america to prevent them voting. Furthermore politicians may seek to engineer the test to favor voters who are likely to support them and exclude supporters of their opponents.
Secondly the phrase 'no taxation without representation' springs to mind. It would be impossible to justify the paying of tax by those who have no political enfranchisement. If people were able not to pay taxes in exchange for not voting that then makes voting a bought and paid for privilege and risks turning a nation into an oligarchy.
Thirdly, the people who would be most affected by this system would be the poor, those that have to work two jobs to pay their bills, those that didn't get a proper education etc. Etc. By denying these people the right to vote these people would have no reason what-so-ever to conform to the expectations of society, to behave according to the rules or attempt to become more aware of current issues making them ever more alienated from society.
In conclusion a voting test would be a terrible mistake in any democracy that prides itself on universal suffrage.
Some people think that it would take away their freedom to vote that the amendments give us. As long as you are 18 years of age and you are a legal unites states citizen you have the right to vote on the president or for the representatives that will represent you.
Democracy has developed throughout the centuries, from Cleisthenes in Athens to David Cameron, democracy has flourished due to the basic and underlying principal that anyone can vote, excluding racism and sexism, if you were the right gender and race then you had a right, a right that has influenced politicians and people in power for centuries. The free and complete right to voters has given people power that no other power can take away. If we introduce this test we are introducing a viable passage to destroy that fundamental right of free and directly uncontrollable voting.
If we allow this we allow the destruction of democracy to begin.
I don't believe that people should be required to take any form of current events test to be able to vote. The Voting Rights Act was supposed to give everyone the right to vote regardless to their mastery of the subject politics. This is simply another trick used by the Republicans in order to win elections.