Voting Rights In the USA

This blogger has thought for years that there should be a basic test to certify that someone understands a minimal amount of US history and government, as well as the issues involved in politics. Following is some background on voting in elections in the USA and support for a basic test to qualify for voting:
  • There are both federal and state laws regulating elections.
  • The "right to vote" is not explicit in the US Constitution.
  • The US Constitution basically defines how federal elections are held. According to Wikipedia: "The constitution states that suffrage cannot be denied on grounds of race or color, sex or age for citizens eighteen years or older."
  • State law regulates most aspects of electoral law, including eligibility of voters beyond the basic constitutional definition noted above.
  • The US Constitution allows the states some latitude, such as voter registration requirements, as long as there is no infringement on rights found in the Constitution.
  • Literacy tests were used by some states to attempt to disqualify blacks and were found by the courts to be illegal as used. However, the use of literacy tests per se have not been found illegal.
  • In light of the above, why not require voters to pass the US Naturalization Test as well as some testing of basic understanding of the issues of the day? Yes, deciding on the questions on the issues of the day would be contentious but not impossible to do under the watchful eye of the courts.
In this blogger opinion, this would be better than the current practice of encouraging and supporting ignorant people to the polls.

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