View Poll Results: What Requirements should we Impose?

Voters
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  • 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. #81
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    Re: Do we need a requirement to Vote?

    I've often wondered if universal suffrage was really such a good idea.

    Lots of people vote who have not a clue.

    Some of the Founders wanted to limit it to landowners; some to landowners who possessed at least $100,000 worth of property. This idea was voted down, but it was out there. The idea being that those who had a bigger stake in how things were done should be the ones making the decisions.

    Not sure I'd go that route, but I would like to restrict voting to those who take it at least a bit seriously. How to do that is the rub.

    Could we come up with a "test" that would be politically neutral? That is, not biased to either the left or the right in terms of acceptible answers? I have my doubts. Putting that power in Gov't hands could eventually result in its abuse, even if it started off the right way.

    I'd favor a poll tax, of 1/2 a % of the per-capita GDP. Right now, I think that would be about $150.

    Those who don't take voting seriously are not going to shell out $150 to do it. Those who do take voting seriously, hey you have 2 years between elections, all you have to do is save about $6 a month for two years and you're covered. If you can't save six bucks a month you've got more worries than politics.

    I'd exempt people who served 4 yrs in the military or 8 yrs in the Reserves/Guard and got an honorable discharge, or were discharged early for medical reasons. I'd let them vote for free, since they already did their service to the country.

    About 30% of America actually bothers to vote even in years where there is a Prez election. The poll tax would probably cut that number by half, maybe even two-thirds... and that might not be a bad thing.

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  2. #82
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    Re: Do we need a requirement to Vote?

    No rquirements- NONE. Oh well one actually- that your vote cant be counted if your dead- Disenfranchised is just that ," Bad things happen to good people".

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    Re: Do we need a requirement to Vote?

    Quote Originally Posted by Goshin View Post
    I'd favor a poll tax, of 1/2 a % of the per-capita GDP. Right now, I think that would be about $150. Those who don't take voting seriously are not going to shell out $150 to do it.
    Imagine the money that certain parties would spend to make sure that large portions of their base would NOT simply decide to not vote.

  4. #84
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    Re: Do we need a requirement to Vote?

    Quote Originally Posted by Goobieman View Post
    If you look at it on a per-capta basis, yes.
    If you made it proportional to income, then it would depend on the proportion and your income.
    I'm not sure how to go about calculating that, but it would probably still be devastatingly high to the bottom 25% of income earners.

    Let's see...rough guesstimate time... the Fed budget is currently about three trillion. If we say that the average household is about 2.5 individuals, and the average household income is about $60,000... that's 120 million households, so the per-household share averages 3T / 120 M = $25,000 per household.

    We could also calculate that as $10,000 per person. Whether we calculate it as per person or per household is going to make a difference.

    Okay, if I make $30,000 and I'm the sole income in my household, then I make half the average household income, so my taxes should be half the household average, or in other words $12,500.

    30,000 - 12,500 is 17,500.

    Congratulations, you have now taxed me and my child down from "doing tolerably well" to "living in terrible poverty". We couldn't afford health insurance. We'd have to unhook the heat pump; in the winter we'd have to burn whatever wood we could cut off my land; in summer we'd just have to open all the windows and hope for a breeze. We'd probably be eating a lot of boiled rice and whatever I could shoot for the pot: rabbit, squirrel, possum, whatever. I hate possum.

    If we did it per-person, at half avg household income my share would be 5k per person or 10,000 total...30k - 10k = 20k, not much better. Maybe we could afford to eat at McDonald's once in a while, but I might still lose my house or go into bankruptcy for being unable to pay my debts.

    You'd have to trim the Federal budget by at least half before this could possibly work, or else there would be rioting in the streets.

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    Re: Do we need a requirement to Vote?

    Quote Originally Posted by Goobieman View Post
    Imagine the money that certain parties would spend to make sure that large portions of their base would NOT simply decide to not vote.

    Yeah, well you'd have to make that illegal and punish it harshly.

    It was an idea, not an ideal idea.

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    Re: Do we need a requirement to Vote?

    Quote Originally Posted by Goshin View Post
    I'm not sure how to go about calculating that, but it would probably still be devastatingly high to the bottom 25% of income earners.
    Just make it, say 10% of all income and leave it at that.
    Force the government to live within its means.

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    Re: Do we need a requirement to Vote?

    Yes and no. I don't believe that there should be a direct test to vote, but I believe that you should not be allowed to vote until you become a legal adult, and I believe that there should be a test for that. I realize that testing whether someone is mature enough to be a legal adult would be expensive and difficult, and will probably never happen, so I'll settle for the way things are now.
    If you build a man a fire, he'll be warm for a day.

    If you set a man on fire, he'll be warm for the rest of his life.

  8. #88
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    Re: Do we need a requirement to Vote?

    I'm actually not worried about the stupid voting. That's a legitimate constituency, with legitimate concerns that need to be addressed. It's the willfully ignorant who I'd like to see excluded from the system. I can't say I have a great idea on how to do that, but here's my first draft:

    Each candidate writes a paragraph describing his own positions, and one responding to the paragraphs written by each of his opponents. Each candidate also writes one sentence summing his position that he most wants emphasized. That sentence, and not the candidate's name, would appear on the ballot. The paragraphs would all be posted prominently in the polling room, but not be visible from inside the voting booth. The names and pictures of each candidate would be posted next to their paragraphs, but the sentence that's on the ballot would appear only on the ballot. Poll workers should be available to read anything, word for word, to anyone who wants assistance. Defining words would be prohibited, as that can taint meaning. (voters could bring a dictionary, if they want) So candidates would be forced to write simply. The votes of people who couldn't recognize their chosen candidate's position sentence would just end up as random noise.

    I'd also require a picture ID and proof of citizenship, if the ID itself doesn't imply it.

    Of course, the Constitution plainly does not give the government authority to restrict voting, except in the case of minors. (and arguably traitors) So anything of this type would require a Constitutional Amendment, not simple legislation.

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    Re: Do we need a requirement to Vote?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mellie View Post
    What if you can read Spanish, but not English?
    English is the language of the United States. Is it asking too much that voters know English?

  10. #90
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    Re: Do we need a requirement to Vote?

    Quote Originally Posted by Goshin View Post
    As I understand it, a strictly proportional share in the Federal budget would be about $12,000 per person --- every man woman and child.

    If I had to pay $24,000 each year for me and my (minor) son, we wouldn't have enough money left to live on. Literally. Lots of other people in the same boat.
    A per capita tax would be neither constructive or reasonable.

    But if everybody paid an equal percentage of their income, the lower income people would pay relatively small amounts compared to the high income people. 10% of $10,000 is $1,000 or about $83/month. If $83 a month makes the difference between having enough to live on and not having enough to live on, you have a lot bigger problem than the tax code.

    The other factor in that is such a plan would be a tremendous boost to the economy so that most working people would have opportunity to make substantially more than any amount they were assessed in taxes.

    And there would be no incentive at all to keep one's income below the taxable level.
    "I think the best way of doing good to the poor, is not making them easy in poverty, but leading or driving them out of it." --Benjamin Franklin 1776

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