Should political literacy be required in order to vote?

More like “This is a 25 question test. You are required to answer at least 18 questions correctly in order to qualify to vote.”

And those millions and millions of citizens would riot if they were denied the vote.

THe school district I graduated from required us to pass the constitution test in junior year and the Senior Social Science Survey class in our senior year. If you didn’t pass these, you couldn’t graduate. The latter was geared toward how the three branches of government work together and the purpose of congress, etc., … a basic understanding of the system.

Everyone dreaded these two classes because everything hinged on passing them, but in retrospect, I’m glad I had to take them, daunting as they can be at times.

My gut instinct is to say that yes, you should be able to rub two little brain cells together to make a fire in order to vote. But in one of these threads somebody posited a True Single Issue Voter - this guy cares nothing for who the president is, what party his representatives come from, any of that. He figures the government ought to know what it’s doing when it makes taxes. He is not interested in politics at all. However, he is VERY interested in whether a major league sports stadium is built in his town. He is a freaking expert on the subject. He knows everything about every possible local candidate’s opinions on the issue. He’s written letters to the editor about it. (In fact, the newspaper now throws away envelopes with his return address on it because they’re tired of reading it.) He calls in to talk radio shows about it. He wants this stadium and he’s very knowledgeable and passionate about this one issue. You’re telling me this guy shouldn’t vote?

Woo hoo! Finally, I can get out of jury duty! All I have to do is give up my right to vote.

Huh? Screening out ignoramuses would (for example) disqualify people who believe the “Obama is a Moose Limb” nonsense, which would disadvantage, and therefore draw push-back from, the right.

If we had a workable and abuse-proof way to screen out people who don’t know the basics of the system, and used it to qualify voters… well, then, if this guy wants a stadium so badly he can edumacate himself a bit about the other 99.9% of public policy.

(Obviously, the qualification at the beginning of the previous sentence is the basic problem with the concept.)

I have to agree with **magellan01 ** on this one, the left will be much more worried about disenfranchising people then the Republicans will worry about losing the dumb redneck vote. The Republican are happy to have the dumb redneck votes but will probably assume there are even more Democratic voting barely literates.

I have no idea which side would benefit more, I am just speaking as an ex-Republican. The old school conservatives would mostly love **Sampiro’s **idea and the Neo-cons would assume that left would hurt more than the right. Only the Theo-Cons would be against such a rule, fearing it would eat into their base.

The lefties would protest such a move, even if the had statistics that showed it would help them in the long run.

While the idea has its appeals, trying to actually apply it would be a nightmare.
So no, no political literacy tests in order to vote. Tho I do agree with Matt & Trey in that I don’t think people should be pressured/persuaded to vote if they don’t know or care enough to do so already. They should be allowed, maybe encouraged, to stay out of the political process.

Suggestion: everyone can vote, but if you pass this test, you get to vote twice.

I like the idea until I realize that somebody would have to write the test.

In theory it would be great to tie literacy to voting but I don’t see a practical way of doing it. It would be nice if it was licensed like a car. If you can’t pass the test then you’re too stupid to vote.

I have concluded that I am completely uninformed and have no business voting based on my own usually incorrect decisions. I watch about an hour a week of the sunday morning talk shows and spend maybe hand an hour a day reading news on the internet. I have usually been wrong be it supporting Grey davis or voting for kerry. I am voting for McCain only because those whose opinions I trust are usually more right than my own.

I don’t think there should be a test, but I do agree with Parker and Stone; there shouldn’t be any surpreme effort to get uninformed people to vote. If a person doesn’t feel like at least minimally informing themselves about who is running, it’s more than okay with me if they choose not to vote. Without any encouragement to vote when they probably shouldn’t, the issue is self-correcting.

It is easy when you can point to the extremes. The problem would be the close calls. You would piss off a lot of people who would lose their right by just a little.

How are you going to proctor a 300 million person test to ensure that nobody cheats and that the answer key doesn’t get out?

i am starting to realize how arrogant I was. Who an I to declare evolution is right and everyone else is wrong. my arrogance knew no bounds.

i am starting to realize how arrogant I was. Who an I to declare evolution is right and everyone else is wrong. my arrogance knew no bounds.

Not having it is abused every day, as the OP pointed out.

Yes, absolutely there should be a political literacy test.

I am not particularly concerned with political illiterates forming a consistently large voting block to distort the system; however, if I were concerned, I would see education as the solution, not blocking the polls. (I feel the same way about people voting from prison. If prisoners are a large enough voting block to distort the political process, the problem is not prisoners voting, but why we have so many people in prison.)

Screw that. You peeps need to get off of your high horses. Anyone who can vote should vote if they want. I don’t care if it’s because of race/faith/looks/politics. Educated decisions are great, but who thinks they know it all and are not blind to the facts due to political leanings.

If you want to disenfranchise the lazy then i think you should also disenfranchise the blind partisan sheep that is a good majority of those who are passionate about politics.