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Voter testing, should Americans be tested on their knowledge?

  1. Josak profile image61
    Josakposted 4 years ago

    Winston Churchill said "the greatest argument against democracy is a short conversation with the average voter." Should voters be tested on their knowledge of issues before being allowed to vote and be able to demonstrate a basic knowledge of the facts involved?
    I am not proposing it simply gauging reaction by the way, give your reasons.

    1. Sapper profile image69
      Sapperposted 4 years ago in reply to this

      Normally I would say yes, but if we did that there would be about 6 people voting.

      Although I'd love the idea of someone being told "you're too stupid, go home" with how corrupt the political system already is, that would be fairly close to impossible to implement.

    2. Hollie Thomas profile image59
      Hollie Thomasposted 4 years ago in reply to this

      Absolutely not. That would be to exclude those who have not had the benefit of education, are their concerns less valid than those who are educated?. And, who decides what is fact? A few years in academia teaches most of us that there are only perspectives and theories, the debates rage amongst the educated, too. To suggest such a thing will take us all back to days of international suffrage. In retrospect, I'm not surprised that the likes of Churchill made such a comment.

  2. grand old lady profile image90
    grand old ladyposted 4 years ago

    I think it's not a good idea. However, I wish some politicians in the Philippines would be required to take a test before they could run for office. Honest.

  3. habee profile image89
    habeeposted 4 years ago

    I have mixed feelings on this question. I sometimes wonder if only those who pay federal income taxes should be allowed to vote in national elections. I suppose, though, that would be "un-democratic."

  4. safiq ali patel profile image67
    safiq ali patelposted 4 years ago

    I think democracy is in crisis anyway. There is a debate taking place in the United Kingdom at the moment that asks if prisoners should be allowed to vote. I personally feel the vote should be universal and the right of all people. But its fair enough to ask is a person suitable to vote. Should their knowledge of democracy be tested before they can vote. Maybe it should. Perhaps the vote should be earned rather than automatically granted when a person reaches voting age.

  5. psycheskinner profile image80
    psycheskinnerposted 4 years ago

    No, citizens get to vote.  Politicians are meant to inspire--and that include inspiration to give damn and take an interest.  Something that sometimes gets hard to do with business-as-usual Washington.

  6. Petra Vlah profile image60
    Petra Vlahposted 4 years ago

    Most people are voting in ONE issue alone, whatever is the most important for them. They see the tree, but not the forest.
    How do you convince people who are anti-abortion BUT for death penalty that their position makes no sense?

    1. psycheskinner profile image80
      psycheskinnerposted 4 years ago in reply to this

      Sometimes they are living in that tree, so naturally it is important to them.

      1. grand old lady profile image90
        grand old ladyposted 4 years ago in reply to this

        There does seem to be an inconsistency there. The child is innocent, the man is guilty but the death penalty is rather harsh.

  7. prettydarkhorse profile image63
    prettydarkhorseposted 4 years ago

    Who will judge the others, what are the parameters?

  8. Stacie L profile image86
    Stacie Lposted 4 years ago

    A test sounds logical but voters are not always logical. I believe, most vote with their hearts or emotions.

  9. Barefootfae profile image61
    Barefootfaeposted 4 years ago

    Voting is a right not a privilege.
    I can't believe this is going through without anyone saying anything about voter suppression.
    I am conservative and would have gone deaf from the screams by now had I suggested such a thing as this.

    1. Jillian Barclay profile image86
      Jillian Barclayposted 4 years ago in reply to this

      Finally and thankfully, here is something that you and I agree on. Voting is a right, no if's and's or but's. Any attempts to deny or limit a citizen's access to vote and/or ability to vote is completely out of line with what we, as a country, supposedly stand for.

      Anyone, regardless of political affiliation should be condemned for advocating voter suppression or limiting access to the polls.

      1. Barefootfae profile image61
        Barefootfaeposted 4 years ago in reply to this

        Let's not forget the assertion you may possibly not be intelligent enough to have the right to vote.
        Now maybe you understand why I am opposed to the agenda these folks wish to impose on us.

        1. Petra Vlah profile image60
          Petra Vlahposted 4 years ago in reply to this

          It is not as much a question of intelligence as it is a question of ignorance. Plenty of people are voting without having the slightest idea about the issues and their only "knowledge" comes from TV commercials. I am opposed to voting suppression, BUT I am all for educating the electorate.
          In a strange way, this is like everyone's right to be a parent, but very few getting educated about how to be a responsible one.

          1. psycheskinner profile image80
            psycheskinnerposted 4 years ago in reply to this

            Voting on intuition may not be that inaccurate (that is, not representing what the voter wants). The ads push the buttons, but the people have to have the button to push.

        2. Josak profile image61
          Josakposted 4 years ago in reply to this

          By these folks do you mean the guy who asked a question while explicitly stating he did not support the idea? The agenda I am scared of is the one that attempts to intimidate people into not asking controversial questions, in other words the cause of stagnation and ignorance.

          1. Barefootfae profile image61
            Barefootfaeposted 4 years ago in reply to this

            Nope I am talking about the folks who a little over a month ago screamed to high heaven if you had to have an ID to vote but now apparently want to go another direction towards voter suppression by having a "test".
            I also notice it's the left wing wanting to do this which indicates to me nothing more than trying to suppress conservative voters.
            As I said........a little over a month ago the screams would have been deafening had this been suggested...especially by conservatives. It's just fine now of course.

            1. Josak profile image61
              Josakposted 4 years ago in reply to this

              Wow you really should read what you are replying to I have twice now pointed out that I do not agree with the idea that I was interested in what the public opinion on it is. Get it yet?

              1. Barefootfae profile image61
                Barefootfaeposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                Get it.

            2. Uninvited Writer profile image80
              Uninvited Writerposted 4 years ago in reply to this

              Again... most of the liberals on the thread have said this is not a good idea.

              1. Barefootfae profile image61
                Barefootfaeposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                Most...

                1. Uninvited Writer profile image80
                  Uninvited Writerposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                  And I don't know the politics of everyone who thinks it's a good idea, I would never assume.

          2. Barefootfae profile image61
            Barefootfaeposted 4 years ago in reply to this

            I don't care if you ask a controversial question. Just don't be surprised when I give a controversial answer.

          3. Jillian Barclay profile image86
            Jillian Barclayposted 4 years ago in reply to this

            Josak,
            I never had a doubt that you posing the question was simply that...I knew from the beginning what your views were. I was, however, surprised and shocked by some of the answers that some people have given.

            For example, "Only property owners should vote." "Anyone on assistance should lose their rights" "Voting is a privilege, not a right?" "Only those who pay federal income taxes should have the right to vote", etc. Shameful!

            Wow! We know what we are facing, just by these answers, how we will have to fight to expand the vote-not limit or suppress it-but expand it and make sure that everyone who can vote and wants to vote is afforded the opportunity to do so.

            As for requiring photo ID- many eligible voters simply have no way to get the documents that would be required. In the case of many older voters, there are no birth records available. So, even though they are citizens, their right to vote should be taken away? B.S.!

            As for many poor citizens- they simply do not have the financial means to obtain the documents that would be required. When and if the government (states pushing for a specific type of photo ID) shell out the money for the birth certificate or whatever other paperwork required AND guarantee free voter ID cards, then maybe... Alot of people simply cannot afford the $30.00 often required to obtain a certified birth certificate. Hard to believe? How many of us think $30.00 is nothing? Too many! These doubters have no clue that $30.00 has to pay for a week of food for poorer citizens. Some rely on less than $30.00 for that week. 

            People like Husted and Rick Scott should be prosecuted and as of late, Scott Walker has doubled down. ANYONE who attempts to keep others from voting should be charged with voter suppression and election tampering.

            As for "intelligence" testing? Thought we settled that issue long ago---Anyone who advocates for this idea should seriously question their own ability to PASS an "intelligence" test!

            To anyone who seeks to suppress and/or limit voters' rights? Clean your KKK sheets and hoods, renew your John Birch Society memberships and dig out your "I love Joe McCarthy!" pins!

            1. GA Anderson profile image82
              GA Andersonposted 4 years ago in reply to this

              Jillian,
              Your emotional response appears sincere and compassionate, but factually - you offer a deficit that often accompanies most irrational emotional responses.

              Factually - U.S. voting is a privilege - not a right. I am doubtful you can present factual evidence to the contrary.

              On the other hand, I did say it was essentially a matter of semantics - as most U.S. citizens view it as a right - even if our laws don't.

              As for voter ID requirements - a little research would have shown you that in almost every case; states proposing them have also provided fee waivers, and/or specific programs to assist voters in their "quest" for an ID. Yes, especially for the "poor" folks on a $30 food budget.

              I, as well have others, have written extensively on this subject. There is also a plethora of official .gov sites for voter education, (about the actual laws and requirements),  concerning how to obtain their FREE, ( although possibly not in every single possible case), photo voter ID's.

              The information is there - should you wish to buttress the validity of your opinion.

              Alas, and unfortunately, your closing statement is more than telling - regarding your "balanced" perspective...
              "...To anyone who seeks to suppress and/or limit voters' rights? Clean your KKK sheets and hoods, renew your John Birch Society memberships and dig out your "I love Joe McCarthy!" pins!..."

              I am against voter suppression - but for voter ID - so according to you I must be a card-carrying Bircher and proud McCarthyite, with a recently cleaned KKK robe in my trunk. You forgot to mention the spare can of gas for the cross-burnings. tsk. tsk.

              GA

    2. GA Anderson profile image82
      GA Andersonposted 4 years ago in reply to this

      hmmm... it may sound like a matter of semantics, but no, voting, (in the U.S.), is not a right - it is a privilege.  One that is defined, (ie. required qualifications, prohibitions), by multiple state/federal laws, and constitutional amendments.

      The most recognized would probably be the Voting Rights Act of 1965, but there were many others.

      ALL of which define how the right to vote may not be abridged or denied - but NONE of which actually declare voting a right.

      We Americans just take it for granted - when in fact the U.S. Constitution does not declare a right to vote.

      Can you take away the rights of "Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness[sic]?" Yet the "right to vote is taken away from Felons.

      You can suspend/revoke privileges. And our legal system does.

      GA

      1. Uninvited Writer profile image80
        Uninvited Writerposted 4 years ago in reply to this

        One reason for the Voting Rights Act was that blacks, and only blacks, had to write a test in some places before they could vote.

  10. Repairguy47 profile image59
    Repairguy47posted 4 years ago

    Only landowners should be able to vote! If you are receiving ANY government assistance at all you should have your rights taken from you!

    1. Uninvited Writer profile image80
      Uninvited Writerposted 4 years ago in reply to this

      That is ridiculous...we got rid of the Feudal system a while ago.

      1. Repairguy47 profile image59
        Repairguy47posted 4 years ago in reply to this

        Oh come on, whats wrong with having a little skin in the game before one can vote?

  11. Benjamin777 profile image60
    Benjamin777posted 4 years ago

    I think that each voter should be given a short questionnaire before entering the polls.  It should be multiple choice, somewhere between five and ten questions, each question pertaining to a key issue of debate on which the two major parties disagree.  At the end of the questionnaire, the results should be presented to the voter in a way that tells them with which party their beliefs are most consistent.  People may be less likely to vote from the heart if they know which party's candidates they tend to agree with.

    1. grand old lady profile image90
      grand old ladyposted 4 years ago in reply to this

      That may mean longer lines at the polls....

  12. wilderness profile image94
    wildernessposted 4 years ago

    I think it's a great idea!  The questions would reflect the important issues that voters are concerned with and might look like this:

    Did Obama ever present a valid birth certificate?
       yes      NO
    Does Romney belong to a cult religion spawned by satan?
       YES  no
    Does Obama hate America and try his best to destroy it?
       YES  no
    Does Romney pay income tax?
       yes  NO
    Is Obama actually a muslim that hates Christianity?
       YES  no
    Does Romney hate all poor people and want them to die?
       YES  no



    I trust that my point is understood?

    1. Mighty Mom profile image90
      Mighty Momposted 4 years ago in reply to this

      Where are you getting your information, Wilderness?
      I could swear those were not the same answers in my Voter Education Pamphlet.
      And I'm certain MY Voter Education Pamphlet is factual and true.
      More factualer and truer than yours!
      tongue

      1. wilderness profile image94
        wildernessposted 4 years ago in reply to this

        No!  MINE are true!  Yours should always be ignored as unfactual and untruer!  And your cape is silly, too!
        tongue

  13. psycheskinner profile image80
    psycheskinnerposted 4 years ago

    A right is something given to a person by virtue of them being in a group (e.g. law-abiding adult citizens).  Ergo I see not problem at all with calling voting a right.

 
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