Should people in the US pass a political knowledge test before voting?

Asked by: Gaben11
  • Should a Doctor have a License?

    The ability to have an opinion is the blessing of free will, however the ability to have a functional opinion is the blessing of intelligence and knowledge. Requiring a test before voting is no different then requiring a test before driving or performing medical operations. It is not often you select a taxi driver who is ignorant of how to drive or a doctor who is pretty sure playing the board game operation a hundred times equals medical schooling. So why is it that anyone would want the people voting, to be ignorant of what they are voting on? In that case we should get rid of voter age restrictions and let my daughter also vote, shes a fan of people that wear green if that matters.

  • We need intelligent people voting

    If you don't know anything, you don't know the consequences of what you're voting for. Take a look at the situation we have with the current President. It is unprecedented. He has no government experience at all, and running the country. We got him elected. Not only should we have a mandatory test, we need to increase the standards of our public school curriculum, and require at least a high school diploma and a civics test before being allowed to vote.

  • Democracy shouldn't be a crap shoot

    If someone participates voting in a democracy, but they have no knowledge or facts of policies, politics, economy, then how is their vote democratic?

    What can be done?
    - testing voters at each poll, to see if they understand key concepts?
    - blind voting, where people vote for an outcome or policy without knowing the politician?
    - mandatory voting for particular professions or degree holders, and elective voting for everyone else?

  • Here's an amendment that should be made.

    Section 1. Each member of the Senate shall, upon entering into the federal Congress, submit a multiple-choice question related to the United States’ Constitution to be voted on. If at least two thirds of the remaining Senators vote to pass this question, it will be added to a database of electoral questions. A senator may continue to submit questions until one passes.

    Section 2: When a senator’s term finishes, his or her question is removed from the database; if a senator is re-elected, he or she may choose either to submit the same question or a new one. In either case, the Senate must vote again to approve the question.

    Section 3: Each federal ballot shall be paired with a set of five random questions chosen from the database of 100, which must be answered if a citizen wishes to participate in a federal election. If at least three of the five questions are answered correctly, that citizen’s votes for federal positions will be counted; otherwise, those votes are nullified.

    Section 4: The Constitution Quiz shall affect the following votes: Federal Senator; Federal Representative; President of the United States.

    Section 5: Anyone running to be a federal Senator or Representative, or to be President or Vice President of the United States, must answer all 100 questions at the time of announcing his or her campaign; he or she must score a 95% correct rate or higher to be eligible for such a federal government position.

    Section 6: Any Presidential appointment must complete the 100-question Constitution Quiz at the time of his or her Senate hearing; he or she must score at least a 90% correct rate to be eligible for confirmation.

  • Who are we letting vote?

    Before 1965 all voters were required to take a literacy test proving that they had basic knowledge of how the government worked and an idea of what their representatives stood for. The Voting Rights Act and the Civil Rights-era banned discrimination “through the application of any ‘test device,’ such as a literacy tests, to determine whether voters could take part in elections.” (Murse) While this made voting easier for citizens, it also made it easier to elect kleptocrats (officials who take advantage of their position) into office. When voters do not know the policies or beliefs of the person they are placing in a position of power, they risk “impacting not only the voters who made that decision, but the nation as a whole.” (Murse) The literacy test should be reenacted, and required, of people who want to to vote to ensure their knowledge of basic government policies.

  • This is about BASIC COMPETENCY.

    This is about basic basic competency. Voting is a privilege NOT a right. Like driving a car or owning a gun. In this case you will be asked to cast a ballot based on your understanding of basic government functions and social issues. If you are unable to understand and thoughtfully apply available information in regards to your vote. Then you should have none. There should be a basic civics course and test. And a social responsibilities course... And test! I believe this to be a very realistic goal with limited cost. .....Unlike the ultimate cost of electing an idiot for president.

  • American-born Citizens Should Take the Same Test as Naturalized Citizens

    To become a naturalized citizen (and a legal voter), one is required to “Demonstrate a basic knowledge of U.S. history, government, and civic principles” and “Demonstrate an ability to read, write, speak, and understand basic English”.

    Native-born citizens are allowed to vote no matter how illiterate or ill-informed. It seems reasonable that native-born Americans be required to demonstrate the same rudimentary understanding of the Constitution and civics as naturalized citizens.

  • Standardized Voting Test

    Only good can from a vote coming from a more educated populous. It does not even necessarily need to be a in depth look at our political landscape but even a surface understanding of our government should be required in order to have a voice within its workings. Especially in the trying times we live in, we should make sure the decisions are made by the well informed.

  • The Repercussions of poor knowledge

    If someone votes based on limited knowledge, the policies might be a drastic change in a direction that does not suit the population. People vote based on commercial things during the campaign such as likeability of the politician rather than who aligns with their beliefs. Also the electoral college is old and should be removed

  • This Would Work Well With Mandatory Voting

    If we made voting mandatory, and made voters take a political knowledge test, then we would be able to weed out votes from people ignorant of political matters or rebellious against the system. That way, we wouldn't have certain people be elected as President, and would truly have a fair election.

  • Of course not.

    No, what's the reason for that? I think we can agree there are more politically involved people in the country than not, and their votes will outweigh the rest. Not to mention this definitely goes against the constitution. One of the things about being an american is that you born with the right to vote.

    Posted by: bete
  • What the heck

    This makes no sense. It is our constitutional right to vote, a right we fought for for many years to have. If only certain 'educated' people are allowed to vote it undermines the whole system we have. Our government is 'by the people, for the people', not 'for the people with political knowledge'.

  • Voting is not a legal right! It is a human right!

    No one should be able to tell you if you can or cannot vote based off of test results! This is fascism! We are all born equal and all have the equal right to to choose our leaders!!! Voting is a human right! This is essential to our liberty !!

  • It may make sense on the surface, but requiring Political knowledge is a bed of thorns.

    Firstly the decisions made by the political machine affect everyone regardless of political intelligence. By barring someone from voting based on that political intelligence you are requiring that a person continue to submit themselves to the rule of law without allowing them any say in how or what areas it is enforced. Why should any person in that position continue to submit to the rule of law?
    Secondly how do you enforce a test on political intelligence? What should be in it??? If a man decides he wants to vote for Politician X because she is the only politician guaranteeing that she will keep open the school that the man's daughter attends should he be allowed to vote knowing only that? Or should he be excluded from the vote based on the fact he only wants to vote on that issue?
    This is to completely ignore the logistical concerns one would have in setting up such a system.

  • It's hard but... I have to say NO

    Democracy is the right for everyone to vote...
    No matter if he is good educated, rich, poor, black, white,a woman or a man.

    It's sometimes hard to accept that people which have no knowledge have the same right to vote then other, but that is how a democracy works!

    And we can be proud that we have one!

    Posted by: timC
  • Intelligence has nothing to do with our goals and opinions about the world.

    Just because someone doesn't know a lot about politics does not mean that they can't make decisions and understand which political party they agree with. Knowledge has nothing to do with someone making goals or choosing which way they like the world to work. Voting is all about someone's opinion, not knowledge.

  • Amounts to Poll Tax

    Verifying the education of someone before voting is like charging a poll tax. Plus, as long as someone can read and understand a ballot, one assumes they are intelligent enough to vote in an election. Although the electoral college was created to prevent illiterate masses from voting in elections, modern technology has remedied that situation.

  • Voters should take a test before voting

    The US is a country that most other countries see as a developed country not only that the US has a wide range of nuclear weapons thus if power falls into the hands of an idiot it could be disastrous. The voters need to know the basic politicall things going on before they vote

  • Voters should take a test before voting

    The US is a country that most other countries see as a developed country not only that the US has a wide range of nuclear weapons thus if power falls into the hands of an idiot it could be disastrous. The voters need to know the basic politicall things going on before they vote

  • No they shouldnt

    A a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a

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