How about this: you are only eligible to vote if:
- You can demonstrate English competency at at least the eighth-grade level.
- You can pass the equivalent of a eighth-grade civics test.
2a. Specifically, you can’t vote for a congressional candidate unless you can demonstrate that you know what a congressman is and what he does. Ditto for mayoral, senatorial, etc. elections.
- You can’t vote on propositions, initiatives, etc. without reading their texts in full and correctly answering several basic questions about the proposed measures.
I realize that this disfranchises the stupid and the lazy. It could certainly be argued that if people want to choose their elected officials on the basis on nothing other than their hair color or party affiliation, that’s their right. On the other hand, I can’t help but feel that when you vote, you have an obligation to inform yourself about what you’re voting on or who you’re voting for.
I do realize that such a law could never come to pass because there would be extended screaming about its disfranchising the poor, the pink, the green, the Martians, the (insert group). I just want to look at it as a thought experiment. Is it fair? Is it workable? Would it confer any benefit, or cause any harm?