I Believe Not Everyone Should Vote

I support a voter’s competency test, nothing real detail or difficult to pass, but like a citizenship test for aliens that want to be American citizens, there should be a test of a few basic election facts for individuals that want to vote. Are you aware that even the mentally handicapped can vote under our present system?

Voters should know who our current President and Vice-President are and from what party.

Voters should know who our prior President and Vice-President were; and from what party
Voters should know what party current controls the Senate and House of Representatives.

Voters should know the name of the current Speaker of the House and what party they represent.

Voters should know who leads the Senate.

Voters should be able to name their current elected officials in Congress and what house they vote in.

Voters should be able to name their current State Governor.

Voters should be able to name the first President of the United States.

Voters should know the minimum voting age.

Voters should know from memory their social security number.

Voters should know if it is legal for convicted criminals to vote.

Voters should know if it is legal for non-citizens to vote.

Voters should know if the USA is a Parliamentary or a Republic government.
Jones47 Jones47
61-65, M
10 Responses Aug 24, 2012

I can't see how to respond to another comment, but that is not a good idea. We'd be making things difficult for mentally challenged/elderly people with poor memories, as well as young voters who haven't yet memorized their SSN simply because they've not had to use it much. Why not allow people to produce an SSN anyway they can, memorized or written down?

How is memorizing one's Social Security number relevant to voting?

If you don't know your Social Security number, it is a good indication you may not a US citizen.

I think they should know what the past few presidents have done while they were in office, and how the current candidates plan on changing things. Like, I'm a bit of a feminist myself, but I don't agree with those feminists who vote for a candidate simply because she's a woman. Bad, bad idea. If they actually bother to learn the basic message from each candidate, whether that candidate lies through their teeth or not, they'll make an okay decision in most cases. If they don't bother to know what monster they could be voting for, don't let them vote :)

I sort of agree...asking who is in control here, who is in control there, is a little too much (okay, if you don't know who your president or governor is, you really shouldn't vote, true) but I think there should be an IQ test for sure. That sounds really biased against the mentally handicapped, but...come on. Future of the country. Also, they should have to prove that they have at least some knowledge of each candidates' stances on some of the issues...because I know there are some people who literally vote without knowing anything about the candidates.

How exactly would such a test even work?

First, the federal government would have to give states the right to determine voting rules, which I do not see anytime in the future--just look at the out cry when states wanted people to prove they were citizens with a voter ID requirement--the federal government came down on these states with the full power of Justice Department.

In Australia voting is compunalory. Imagine the scenes in dementia wards and mental institutions! (Only minority are legally excused).

The Constitution as orginally written and ratified was slient on the issue how citizens qualify to vote. The 15th Admendment may have given black African Americans the the same right to vote as white males, but it does not say other qualifications to vote cannot be required. And even on the issue of women's right to vote, it only says gender can not be used to rule out the right to vote. <br />
<br />
And it is interesting that Supreme Court's ruling in Bush v. Gore, nothing was more important than the Court's insistence that the people still have "no federal constitutional right to vote." We (the people) have only the voting privileges our states choose to grant us.<br />
<br />
The Constitution contains many phrases, clauses, and amendments detailing ways people cannot be denied the right to vote. You cannot deny the right to vote because of race or gender. Citizens of Washington DC can vote for President; 18-year-olds can vote; you can vote even if you fail to pay a poll tax. The Constitution also requires that anyone who can vote for the "most numerous branch" of their state legislature can vote for House members and Senate members.<br />
<br />
Note that in all of this, though, the Constitution never explicitly ensures the right to vote, as it does the right to speech, for example. It does require that Representatives be chosen and Senators be elected by "the People," and who comprises "the People" has been expanded by the aforementioned amendments several times. Aside from these requirements, though, the qualifications for voters are left to the states. And as long as the qualifications do not conflict with anything in the Constitution, that right can be withheld. It is interesting to note that though the 26th Amendment requires that 18-year-olds must be able to vote, states can allow persons younger than 18 to vote, if they chose to.

Why do you say liberals stamp their feet on the constitution when you suggest this?

It is against the fabric of this country though. The reason the revolution happened was because the people of the new world had no way to represent their beliefs. Trust I know where you are coming from I really do, but it is denying rights to American citizens. Do you know the reason black people could not vote during the slavery era? It was because they were not considered to be people, and only people can vote. The constitution says by the people, and for the people. Mentally ill patients are still the people, and to deny them the right to vote would be to define them as something less than a person. If anyone was to deny someone the right to vote, then they would be defying the very basic values this country was founded upon. As a patriot, and a true believer in the constitution I cannot support anything like this, and neither should you. I also used to volunteer at a group home as part of my college Psych class. It focused on mental disorders, and I know what these people are like too. You can look up the place if you don't believe me. It is called Casa Milagros I believe. I think it means miracle house, or house of miracles. I truly understand where you are coming from, but remember what this country was founded on.

Slaves were never allowed to vote in the US, even indebted servitude/slaves could not vote. The states orginally determined who could vote. Most states required voters to be property owners that paid taxes. Often women were allowed to vote just because they owned inherited property.

Question. When voting was limited to individuals that owned property was the citizens less free, except for the voting process? When only men could vote, were women less free?

That was before the early 1800s, when most states switched to universal white male suffrage. Only one or two states allowed women to vote until after the civil war, when more states allowed it. Their voting rights were based off of their marital status, not their owned property. In many states, free black men could not vote until 1865. Native Americans could not vote for quite a while; neither could Chinese Americans who came to California because of the gold rush. Your last question does not prove your point well; were women less free before 1920, universal suffrage? Well, in the 1920s, women started to appear in the work force more often. Also, the "flapper" culture was much more liberating for women than the previous "victorian propriety". It was even reflected in their dress: women before 1920 wore corsets and restrictive clothing to emphasize their feminine role while 1920s clothing was loose and shapeless and hair was cut short, giving them less of a gender identity. In 1928, women competed for the first time in the Olympics.

Not allowing people to vote IS symbolic of their "inferior" stance in society - but unintelligent people shouldn't be allowed to vote. No matter how restrictive that is, unintelligent people's votes affect everyone in America. I may sound like one of the past bigots who said that blacks or women shouldn't vote because they're stupid, but they're not stupid, stupid people are stupid. And stupid people shouldn't vote...

As an American everyone has the right to vote, unless you throw that away. The way one can throw their vote away is by breaking the law, and being convicted of a felony. While I understand where you are coming from, I cannot understand why it is coming from who on the other hand says that we must live by the constitution. I disagree strongly disqualifying anyone from voting who have not done anything wrong. We all have a voice in this country, and that is what the USA was founded on. To believe that some people don't have a right to have a say in who leads them because of their mental capacity is wrong. The only way you should be able to lose your voice is if you throw it away.

Sky, I use to believe as you do about voting, until, I worked about four years in a state mental health home. They have now closed these homes and replaced with with group homes in the communities with a house monitor. I found it then and still find it now poor practice that allows individuals that can not even read or write or to cast absentee ballot votes. And their votes are legal, because there is not a court order of a probate jurisdiction to they are either totally mentally incapacitated or partially mentally incapacitated without the right to vote.
By the way convicted felons can now vote if they have completed their sentence, probation, and parole.
Many election in this country has been determine by less than 800 votes.