Determining voting ability based on IQ wouldn't be appropriate, since that merely measures potential, not actual knowledge. However, I completely support the idea of qualification tests to prove you have reasonable knowledge of the system & platforms before voting. I believe that an educated voter pool would improve results of voting. We don't need mindless party-line voters, race- and gender-based voters, or popularity voters.
After browsing around the opinion's and debates on this site for a couple day's, I am reminded why a country like ours can come to the conclusion that we should create a law that says we can't burn a flag, that limiting "semi-auto" firearms would somehow reduce the number of gun deaths in America or that someone shouldn't be able to choose to take drugs or end their own lives for that matter. I mean, I don't think someone should have to have pass the bar exam, but should at least the comprehensive ability to understand what freedom is if they are going to have anything to do with creating legislature. The only argument I have ever heard that would even come close to enough to build an argument on, is that sometimes individual freedom's need to be forfeited for "society's best interest". It is why I have chosen to word the question above in the manner I did.
There are just some stupid people out there. Sure education in schools has advanced so much, but it doesn't take much for people to graduate. As soon as most people graduate they forget everything! Why should have people be like 'imma vote for obama cuz hes black' it's stupid, they should vote for who would be the best leader for our country and if some people aren't smart enough to have a certain IQ they should not be allowed to choose the person who represents our country for the next 4+ years.
Every system needs to protect itself. If some ignorant people vote for"We do not want democracy anymore." others has to obey, because democracy says they should. In a mental institute, you can not give the right for vote to patient while choosing the chief doctor. Doctors knows what is best for them and for patient. They need to vote for themselves and for the patient. If you give them equal rights they will choose their best friend for lead and it will probably be some other patient. As you can see today all around the world, they choose another borderline personality like themselves.
This would probably never get passed in America, but it would be incredibly beneficial. People with greater intelligence tend to make better choices. Even the United States military has a cutoff of 90 for entrance, that's not for deciding who is going into office - it is merely a cutoff for grunt work.
If people who are mindless are voting for parties they don't even understand what they want to do ruin the lives of the citizens around them them by all means they should be stopped. A general test should be introduced to earn a vote rather tan a free handout. This would whittle the voters down to those who can choose for their own good and rid of those who don't even know if the party is benefiting them let alone the rest of the country.
Just because some people may not have the highest IQ does not mean they do not deserve the chance to help make a change in how we run our country. As long as they live here they have every right to make a say in how things are done. It would be unfair and cruel to make an IQ limit on voting.
Three issues: The inaccuracy of IQ tests, problems with implementation and the civil unrest due to disenfranchisement.
IQ tests can be useful when used for general purposes. They are not able to accurately measure a person's ability to reason, their ability to place discrete packets of information into a coherent framework, nor their ability to make decisions without emotion or prejudice. It is even less useful when trying to zero in on a person's ability to make intelligent choices in the electoral process (what to focus on and what's more important? A person's grasp of geography, history, constitutional law, et cetera). Finally, IQ tests do not measure accurately across cultural, racial, ethnic and religious lines.
The costs of implementing such a program would be whopping, requiring a new branch of government. And if we were to implement a program that is supposed to be marginally more progressive the say, the voter testing in Mississippi, 1960, then we would have to have a lengthy and involved appeal process.
But let's say all of that can be fixed and the costs are willingly shouldered. A policy of such would remove 50% of the adult, non-criminal population from the voting roles. History has benignly granted us numerous examples of instances where large segments of the population have been excluded from the voting roles: The property qualifications upto the mid 19th century. The exclusion of blacks, of women. All of such ended up in struggle and they did not tear the country part only because they were eventually resolved by granting the vote. Remember, those disenfranchised under the IQ test scheme might be, by the goals of the test, the least able to understand a policy and the least willing to accept such.
Some people have more specialized knowledge (and deficits) than others. Should someone with a 120 IQ who out of lack of interest doesn't know anything about public policy at all get to vote while a person with an IQ of 80 who is an idiot savant who specializes in understanding public policy not get one? We should base the ability to vote not on general intelligence but political intelligence also known as political literacy. Politically illiterate people shouldn't get to vote. To prevent racism or discrimination stemming from this political literacy courses should be offered to the public at large for free and there should even be courses taught in different dialects such as Ebonics since we're not testing their language IQ we're testing their politics IQ.