View Poll Results: What Requirements should we Impose?

Voters
64. You may not vote on this poll
  • Minimum IQ Level

    24 37.50%
  • Pass Basic Literacy test

    5 7.81%
  • Be able to pay Poll Tax

    1 1.56%
  • Be able to pass test about a candidates position

    4 6.25%
  • No Requirements should be made

    30 46.88%
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Thread: Do we need a requirement to Vote?

  1. #41
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    Re: Do we need a requirement to Vote?

    Quote Originally Posted by E_Pluribus_Venom View Post
    If they're apathetic, they wouldn't vote anyway. Even if they did, that's too insignificant a number to actually matter in terms of what this threads OP hopes to accomplish.
    I disagree. There are millions of people who don't really know or care that much about politics, who ritualistically vote in elections nevertheless. Maybe they feel it's their civic duty, or maybe they're worried that people will frown on them not voting, or maybe their husband/wife is going to vote and drags them along. Whatever the reason, if a test showed them how little they understood about our government or the issues, maybe some of them would be a bit reluctant to vote.

    The big problem is that the media has drilled into people's minds that it is their civic duty to vote. I think we need to change this mindset. I completely understand partisan groups trying to drive voter turnout for a specific candidate; that's OK. But the idea that people should just vote for someone is terrible IMO. A civics test like this would help correct it. It may sound OK to say "Make sure you vote tomorrow, whether it's for a Democrat or a Republican," but I think it would be much harder to defend "Make sure you vote tomorrow, even if you only score a 10% on the civics test."
    Last edited by Kandahar; 05-14-10 at 02:32 AM.
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  2. #42
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    Re: Do we need a requirement to Vote?

    Quote Originally Posted by jamesrage View Post
    So why would poor test results discourage them from voting if they went through the trouble of going to their local polling place?
    Because not everyone votes for the purpose of influencing an election. Some people vote because they feel its a social norm. Merely taking the test and then deciding not to vote might fulfill the social obligations for some people.

    It's an interesting area of behavioral economics. I'd compare it to some ethics experiments. Researchers found that if you give someone an opportunity to cheat on a test and a reward for doing so, they usually will. But if you remind them of the Ten Commandments first, they almost never do. I think the same kind of thing could be at work here. If you give someone an opportunity to vote without knowing anything, some of them will. But if you remind them that they don't know anything about the issues first, perhaps they are less likely to do so.
    Last edited by Kandahar; 05-14-10 at 02:39 AM.
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  3. #43
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    Re: Do we need a requirement to Vote?

    I think the best requirement would be to pass a gameshow like obstacle course. The obstacle course would be hosted each week in every state and the most entertaining of the individual state's shows would be nationally syndicated as "Who Wants to be a Voter?" If they pass that test, they can vote as long and as many times they want (state, local, national; stuff inbetween). If they fail... Well, deportation.
    Last edited by Areopagitican; 05-14-10 at 03:01 AM.

  4. #44
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    Re: Do we need a requirement to Vote?

    I don't think we have the legal grounds to impose an IQ test on voters or test them on the candidates' platform, but it wouldn't be too bad of an idea in my personal opinion.
    Vote John Schnatter (Papa John) 2012!

  5. #45
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    Re: Do we need a requirement to Vote?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kandahar View Post
    I disagree. There are millions of people who don't really know or care that much about politics, who ritualistically vote in elections nevertheless. Maybe they feel it's their civic duty, or maybe they're worried that people will frown on them not voting, or maybe their husband/wife is going to vote and drags them along. Whatever the reason, if a test showed them how little they understood about our government or the issues, maybe some of them would be a bit reluctant to vote.
    If they feel it's their civic duty, they're not apathetic. If they're worried about how people will view them for not voting, they're not apathetic. Someone who is apathetic just isn't concerned about a particular thing, in this case voting. If we're to go by your suggestion of tests at polling places, obviously he/she (who is allegedly apathetic) went through the trouble of leaving the house to vote. You think a test is going to sideline the objective they got up to accomplish (that they're so apathetic about)? You're issuing some strong theories... not much to actually base them on, either.

  6. #46
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    Re: Do we need a requirement to Vote?

    Quote Originally Posted by E_Pluribus_Venom View Post
    If they feel it's their civic duty, they're not apathetic. If they're worried about how people will view them for not voting, they're not apathetic. Someone who is apathetic just isn't concerned about a particular thing, in this case voting. If we're to go by your suggestion of tests at polling places, obviously he/she (who is allegedly apathetic) went through the trouble of leaving the house to vote. You think a test is going to sideline the objective they got up to accomplish (that they're so apathetic about)?
    I mean apathetic about politics in general, not necessarily apathetic about voting. Someone who shows up at the polls and takes the test might feel they've fulfilled their civic duty, especially if showing them the results of the test helps change the mindset that people have a civic duty to vote no matter how ignorant they are.

    Quote Originally Posted by E_Pluribus_Venom
    You're issuing some strong theories... not much to actually base them on, either.
    I'm not suggesting we roll out such a system nationwide starting tomorrow. It's just one idea that seems plausible to reduce the number of worthless votes without violating the Constitution. Obviously it would need to be tested first to see if it actually affected voter turnout. My hunch is that it would have a bigger impact than you might think, but of course I could be wrong.
    Last edited by Kandahar; 05-14-10 at 03:52 AM.
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    Re: Do we need a requirement to Vote?

    The focus should be to get people more involved in electing people, not segregating the population based on IQ or tests. We need to educate people, not say that only the elite should have say in things. What about a child that grows up in a horrible household and dysfunctional family? Just because of the way they were brought up and the resources they lacked, should that child not be able to vote when they become an adult?

  8. #48
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    Re: Do we need a requirement to Vote?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kandahar View Post
    I mean apathetic about politics in general, not necessarily apathetic about voting. Someone who shows up at the polls and takes the test might feel they've fulfilled their civic duty, especially if showing them the results of the test helps change the mindset that people have a civic duty to vote no matter how ignorant they are.

    I'm not suggesting we roll out such a system nationwide starting tomorrow. It's just one idea that seems plausible to reduce the number of worthless votes without violating the Constitution. Obviously it would need to be tested first to see if it actually affected voter turnout. My hunch is that it would have a bigger impact than you might think, but of course I could be wrong.
    Then it's essentially a non-threatening method meant to discourage the voting process Americans are rightful to participate in... and any attempt to do so (mild or not) is inherently wrong. It also assumes voters pick candidate based on a variety of positions and ideals, when it's not always the case. Often 1 singular issue is all a voter may need to pick a candidate, an example being abortion or economy. A test would, no doubt, ask that participants show basic understanding of a plethora of positions, when in reality that's not what they showed up for.

  9. #49
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    Re: Do we need a requirement to Vote?

    Quote Originally Posted by E_Pluribus_Venom View Post
    Then it's essentially a non-threatening method meant to discourage the voting process Americans are rightful to participate in... and any attempt to do so (mild or not) is inherently wrong.
    Why?

    Quote Originally Posted by E_Pluribus_Venom
    It also assumes voters pick candidate based on a variety of positions and ideals, when it's not always the case. Often 1 singular issue is all a voter may need to pick a candidate, an example being abortion or economy. A test would, no doubt, ask that participants show basic understanding of a plethora of positions, when in reality that's not what they showed up for.
    I don't think you'd need to ask about any specific policy positions at all. Here are a few sample questions I can think of:

    1. Who is the current Vice President of the United States?
    2. Who is the current governor of your state?
    3. What document establishes our system of government?
    4. What is the highest court in the nation called?
    5. How many states are there?
    6. What are the two houses of Congress called?

    I think it's easy enough for any smart 7th-grader to ace...but, sadly, there are lots of voters who can't answer some of those. Furthermore, it wouldn't ban them from voting if they failed the test. If they wanted to vote for a certain candidate because of his/her stance on abortion, they'd still be able to do so. I don't think it would have much impact on voters who felt passionately about an issue. The main targets are voters who don't really know/care about any issue at all.
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  10. #50
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    Re: Do we need a requirement to Vote?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kandahar View Post
    Why?
    Why is something that is meant to discourage an American right inherently wrong? I think the question itself answer that.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kandahar View Post
    I don't think you'd need to ask about any specific policy positions at all. Here are a few sample questions I can think of:

    1. Who is the current Vice President of the United States?
    2. Who is the current governor of your state?
    3. What document establishes our system of government?
    4. What is the highest court in the nation called?
    5. How many states are there?
    6. What are the two houses of Congress called?

    I think it's easy enough for any smart 7th-grader to ace...but, sadly, there are lots of voters who can't answer some of those. Furthermore, it wouldn't ban them from voting if they failed the test. If they wanted to vote for a certain candidate because of his/her stance on abortion, they'd still be able to do so. I don't think it would have much impact on voters who felt passionately about an issue. The main targets are voters who don't really know/care about any issue at all.
    But your issuing a highly unlikely scenario:

    They care enough to vote even though they don't really know/care about any issues at all, but a test could change that. That doesn't make sense. If they don't know/care about any issues at all, what makes you think they'll care about a poor test score? They go knowing they don't know... a piece of paper just verified it. So what?
    Last edited by E_Pluribus_Venom; 05-14-10 at 04:55 AM.

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