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

Asked by: Gaben11
  • 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.

  • Your future decided by a mass of ignorant, brainwashed fools? Hell no!

    Regardless of your party affiliation, you should fear the masses of morons who have been effectively brainwashed by the media, depending on which channel broadcasts their favorite reality TV show. JFK won votes during his debate against Nixon because he was rested and tanned...And the women ate it up. Whether you agree with the outcome is irrelevant. The example illustrates that people will vote for reasons which have no place in deciding the future of our country. We have amended the Constitution many times before to allow it to adapt to changing times.

    The hordes of idiots are descending upon our political system and twisting it with their ignorance and religion, which has absolutely no place in politics.

    A test of basic knowledge of current events could be administered alongside the ballot and if you don't pass the test, your ballot is shredded.

  • Here is why

    While yes it is a right for people to vote, why should someone who doesn't know why they're voting for who they are voting for or vote for someone because the other person spoke funny(dialect) or he was black like me or white like me or the other guy was black? Remember THIS ISN'T A LITERACY TEST, this a political test probably something simple like why did you vote for this individual, which is open ended so there isn't any easy way to cheat. This isn't testing whether you can read and write or not, which people can still be informed without knowing how to read or write. If you don't know why you shouldn't be voting. Democrat, Republican, or third party doesn't matter. Someone tell me why not. It doesn't infringe on the 15th amendment which says no excluding any race from voting, nor the 19th(women's suffrage), nor the 24th(poll tax). Someone tell me why not.

  • To Make the President Elected is the Right One

    People should have to pass a test to show they have some knowledge on voting to avoid ignorant people voting for a president for reasons unrelated to running a country, like race for example. If people are tested before voting, it shows they had to have put some thought behind their decision, or it will at least lessen the amount of votes cast for impure reasons

  • Yes -They Need It

    Suffrage is all well and good, but an uneducated person should not receive the right to vote - if you want your vote, prove that your opinion is valid, and that your opinion can reliably be said to benefit the entire country, because the entire country will have to live your vote. A smaller number of voters that know who the better candidate is is much better than a large number of voters who have no idea who the better candidate is, and will probably vote based only on party, or personality, or speeches.

  • Yes, it is for the rule of reason!

    Do people, having no idea what consequences their decision will have on their own life and the life of other people, have an irrevocable constitutional right to influence the life of others? I doubt. The situation gets worse, as this sets selection rules that favour politicians, appealing to the voters' feelings rather than their minds. Long-term, gradual improvements in economy and legislature are sacrificed to short-term populism, just because the majority of voters do not care to understand what these improvements are and how they work. I believe, only people who can prove their ability to make justifiable choices shall be given that right. So, test is a fair way to prove it.

  • Yes plus a logic test!

    I think people should not only have to pass a test that shows a basic understanding of politics, but also a test of their ability to use pure logic. Basically you should to be able to reason well and be knowledgeable enough to make an informed decision. One without the other is not enough.

  • No's take a step back from your opinions

    First off this is not an iq test or some five hundred question test, it is simply something that keeps people that just vote democrat because they are democrat same with republican. People who do not have a clue on what their candidate is running for should not vote because they are ignorant of it all. The test should just be a basic thing that questions on the simple views and reasons the candidate is running. Our nation is an education based system. They do not let some random person from off of the street with little knowledge become president, why should they let one vote for a president?

  • They have to know what they are talking about.

    I believe that people should take a political knowledge test before voting because they have to know what they are voting for. I don't want politically illiterate people voting on policy that governs people who make rational political decisions. If these people want to vote, they should know about political system and different aspects of it before they vote.

  • 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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