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

Asked by: Gaben11
  • It gives people a clear idea

    Although it seems new and doesn't make sense, It should be proposed because there are people in this world who do not have information about all this, They do it just for the sake of it. And arguing about equal rights is kind of dumb because one voter is just a drop in the ocean compared to the number of voters in the country and they don't make much of a difference. But still people shouldbe logical and have their reasons when voting for an elected representative, Although one voter doesnt matter hundreds of people with the same opinion can really make a change. So if we have these people voting for some random clown promising to help the country, They are gonna destroy the whole democracy. If people act like donkeys and continue to, This seems like the best choice as of now. And this test shouldn't be treated like your final exams or so. People should understand that it is a test to prove your worth even tho it seeems intimidating you shouldnt be because there should be no grades. Not really a test per se. But a normal quiz to prove you are worthy to be a voter.

  • Trump's supporters believe the unimaginable

    I despair when I see what people post, And seemingly believe, Though I can't see how.
    These people are destroying the country, And McConnell and other enablers are going along.
    May they all rot in hell.
    They believe that they are decent people. Decent people all despair of them all.

  • It would be personally inconvenient but I would support it

    We have too many people who vote for people simply because of race political group or gender. If the only thing you know about a candidate your voting for is their race political affiliation and or gender then your voting irresponsible and really should not be voting at all. You should know about each candidate's platform there personal and political background as well as what drives them as an individual. Everyone should educate themselves long before stepping into a voting booth.

  • Definitely people should understand current issues before being able to vote

    People hang on to slogans like "maga" or "medicare for all" without knowing what and how. I believe we don't have to understand the history (which is nice but not necessary) just a test which shows they understand current issues so that they can actually choose what they really want and not what sounds good. Some people tell me why they are voting for someone and when I explain the issues to them they change their mind completely. Also, Sometimes Presidents get voted in because of the hype surrounding them and not anything else.

  • To test them but not block them if they fail

    This action would indeed violate the constitution. The purpose of this should really be to inform them of whatever they might be missing. It should really be a REQUIREMENT to take the test PASS OR FAIL and not "YOU HAVE TO PASS". It doesn't have to take away voter rights, But at least show them the importance of why it "REALLY" matters.

  • Yes, To prevent politicians applying marketing techniques instead of scientific techniques.

    We need politicians to start giving realistic manifestos. Currently, Politicians all give unrealistic goals cause there is no pressure. Private companies normally have much better governance even ones that literally have profits and staff numbers that rival the GDPs and populations of small countries. This is because no CEO gets hired purely on slogans and unrealistic. If some is interviewing to be CEO and they say they can double the companies turnover, For example, They have to show why it is plausible show their calculations plus they are interviewed by other people who know the subject matter. But in a democracy we vote in people making promises who make arguments based on ideologies created centuries ago, I mean we still have politicians talking about Capitalism vs Communism in 2019, Referencing thinkers from yesteryear, Currently, Most countries are mixed economies. Whereas for example in the private sector if a company follows a best practice framework, Its normally the latest and it normally has versions that are updated and normally realistic. The fact evidence-based governance techniques exist and consensus existon best practices politicians are forced to take extreme positions just to get voted in. Democracy then changes and becomes a popularity contest and not a contest on the best way forward. Very rarely an extreme position is the one based on evidence to work, Generally, Things that work are quite boring. But unfortunately, An extreme position is the one that is most likely to get you into power. A test could be one way to solve this problem or if not a test, Parties should be forced to produced manifestos that they can prove scientifically and must be independently peer-reviewed at least for soundness by experts.

  • Too many ill-informed, Ignorant people on both sides.

    They need to let intelligent, Well-informed people decide elections and stay home and watch their reality TV. Politics is not a team sport. It's about compromise and governing for the common good. If someone can't grasp that, They need to not vote. This is why we have the party over country politicians we do in Washington.

  • For Senators and a portion of the electoral college: YES. For the lower house: NO

    All people ought to have a choice in representation. Yet it would be dangerous not to check the power of the ignorant and unaware. Proper policy requires a breadth of knowledge and intelligence across various fields. A society and culture ought not be gambled with by populist or nationalist movements that always occur during economic or social upheavals.

  • Critical thinking skills are a must.

    Without the ability to discern political subjects rationally a populus can easily fall victim to demagogues' rhetoric. School teaching standards talk a big game about teaching critical thinking skills, But far too many adults emerge from our educational system with no clue of how to separate fact from fiction. Without these skills humans do what they have always done when faced with a decision, Look around to see what other in their tribe are doing can do that same. It makes them feel comfortable, And no real thought is involved. Easy. Another easy out is to just vote based on name recognition. Hence celebrities with no qualifications can get millions of votes. I'm sorry but such people are squandering their democratic responsibilities and hampering the future of our republic.

  • It would make the country a more effective republic

    Many Americans go to the polls for all the wrong reasons: because somebody is of a specific race, Or gender, Or even because they simply don't like the alternatives and instead choose the "lesser evil". But voting this way is dangerous because it means politicians get voted into office based on their ability to manipulate the ignorant masses instead of their ability to effectively run a nation of hundreds of millions of people.

    Requiring voters to take a competency test before they vote means that only the qualified, Informed voters who know better go to the polls, Depriving predatory politicians of the chance to lie, Cheat, And steal their way to power.

  • Dangerous to Democracy

    Only a little more than half or around 56% of the U. S population turned out to vote in the 2016 presidential election (Drew, 2018). The U. S when compared to other developed countries “placed 26th out of 32” in nationwide voting turnout (Drew).
    When we look at voting numbers in comparison to other countries, Researchers see a trend. Countries like Sweden and Germany who rank 2nd and 12th at 82% and 69% automatically register voters once they are eligible (Drew). The US on the other hand puts all responsibility of voting on the voter and has historically made it more difficult for minorities to vote. Michael McDonald of the University of Florida describes registered voters as “the voting-eligible population. ” According to McDonald, When we look at who is turning out to vote we are looking at a proportion of those who are registered eligible voters rather than the entire population.
    If the US hopes to increase voter turnout we can look to history to see that making voting harder inhibits the common wellbeing of the country. Before the Voting Rights Act of 1965, A common practice for suppressing the vote of immigrants and African Americans in the south was the use of literacy tests. Those who supported the test, Hoped it would prove a potential voter’s ability to read and understand English in an effort to “ensure an educated and informed electorate” (NHAM, 2018) In reality minority groups who as a whole were traditionally poor and less educated were successfully prevented in large quantities from voting because of their socio-economic background and race. When we look further back in history we are reminded that the majority of African Americans were slaves for hundreds of years making no income and lacking education, Thus placing white Americans with a head start. When literacy tests were then implemented it gave white Americans a further advantage in deciding which candidates were elected and what polices were implemented. Literacy tests are easily equated with political knowledge tests, Both efficiently discriminating against minorities and weaving the countries racist history into voting. During the time of literacy tests, Mississippi required transcription and interpretation of a section of the state constitution and a personal essay on the responsibilities of citizenship (NHAM). The registration officials selected the question and interpreted answers, Essentially picking and choosing who can and can’t vote and opening up a door where racism, Xenophobia, And classism decided who had power. An introduction of political science knowledge test would serve as a new vessel for this same kind of bigotry and hate. This is not only intolerance, But an attack on democracy itself. The fourteenth amendment of the U. S constitution declares “equal protection of the laws” and tentatively links political knowledge tests with a constitutional violation. Implementing a national voting test would impose restrictions that violate each individual’s ability to democratically elect their representatives and disregards the founding document of our nation.

  • Too easy to manipulate

    If these tests were used, Politicians would rig the tests so that the correct answers would require bias, Thus restricting who could vote. It would be manipulated to create voter suppression. Alternatively, They could ask about obscure, Unnecessary knowledge so that only elites could vote and not the average person.

  • It's called the Jim Crow Laws

    It doesn't matter how you INTEND the laws to be, Its how they actually WILL be implemented. This EXACT idea has been used before, And it ended up just being a way to discriminate minority groups. There's no real way to prevent this from happening under the test system, And the fact this is even up for debate is appalling. I understand that people on the "yes" side want logic based voting, But you need to understand that that's not what will happen. A very brief study of history should tell you just how bad an idea this is.

  • A good idea in theory. Who will make the test?

    Everyone thinks the other side is incompetent for one reason or another. I think this is the reason some of us want there to be a test. So who will make the test? A bipartisan committee? This may end up being another vehicle for corrupt election practices like gerrymandering. Will the committee be bipartisan or will it actually include all schools of thought? This has been done before in the form of a literacy test which prevented black people from voting. Who will be targeted next? The so called alt-right?

  • An election is put in place to gather everyone's opinions on how they want to be governed.

    Some groups may be unable to take part in the election as they either could not take the test or fail the test. This group of people will most likely be the poorer class, the group of people that are rejected and discriminated against. As such, the majority of votes will come from the higher class, the more educated and more intelligent. What about the lower class? Why can't they take part? Should elections be based on intelligence? Well, I think NO! Everyone should have an equal opportunity to vote for what they want. Which is why an election is put in place for! If we have this test, we might as well not have an election!

  • Discrimination against certain/most people

    Because some people are born into this world with mental medical conditions like Autism or Down syndrom or even people who are very conscious about their self esteem, this general knowledge whatsoever bull crap might affect how they feel about themselves. They might not know how to do it, they would feel stupid or too dumb for this world. This might hurt their self ego. Also, civics and politics are not commonly taught in most schools, even if it is, it discriminates people suffering from poverty, they would have to send their children to school just to learn about the law and all that poppycock and they would become even more poorer, so their children could prepare to face the general knowledge test, as everybody above 18 must vote.
    So this general knowledge acquiring motion must fall.

  • Everybody has knowledge

    Some people watch the debates and pay attention to what they are saying and start to understand everything and have there opinions. Some people might not know about our history but when we are focusing on the future no one is worried about the past and we fought for our rights against the Jim Crow laws and I dont think that they should come back.

  • Not democratic in nature

    It is against the philosophy of democracy that some voters are more worthy than others. What kind of test would we use to root out ignorance? "Where was Barack Obama born"? Who would develop such a test? Who would ensure that it wasn't designed to create a tailor-made electorate? One person, one vote - that is the core of democracy.

  • A Test Promotes Voter Suppression

    In the past, there have been tests such as the literacy test that were used for systematic voter suppression. Any type of requirement for voting is illegal as these tests were overturned in court. A political aptitude test would be used to keep lower class citizens from voting, a fundamental right of United States citizens.

  • We citizens should not have to pass a civics test in order to vote.

    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.
    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'
    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?


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