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Dan Treadway

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Perhaps What America Really Needs Is a Voter IQ Law

Posted: 08/17/2012 1:53 pm

In recent weeks much has been made of stricter voter identification laws which have been upheld in Pennsylvania and have already been passed in many right-leaning states. The law itself dictates that voters must have valid photo identification in order to cast an in person ballot in the November elections. According to the AP, Republicans defend the law as necessary to protect the integrity of the election. Democrats, on the other hand, question the true intentions of the provision however, as it is believed that it may suppress certain lower-income voters, who traditionally vote Democrat, who don't happen to have official government issued ID.

It's difficult to say why anyone would get the inclination that there was any sinister or otherwise ulterior motive behind Republicans pushing for and passing these laws. Yes, Jim Greer, the former chairman of the GOP in Florida recently claimed that he sat in meetings where "political consultants and staff were talking about voter suppression and keeping blacks from voting," but what would someone in charge of Republican voters in one of the largest Republican voting states in America know? Are we to be convinced that there are Americans out there who don't have a driver's license because they happen to take the bus and don't need a passport because they can't necessarily afford to take regular voyages on Carnival cruise lines? Please.

Some are saying the laws are unnecessary, especially given the findings of a recent study conducted by News21 that found that out of 600 million votes cast, only 10 cases of voter fraud have occurred since 2000. Yes, 10 might seem like a small number, but that's only if you fail to put it in perspective. For example, there have been more cases of voter fraud since 2000 (10) than Harry Potter movies released (eight) during that same time period -- and it feels like there have been so many Harry Potter movies released since 2000. Or, since 2000, voter fraud has happened five times as frequently as Britney Spears marriages (two).

I have to commend these brave politicians pushing through this crucial legislation, but I feel that if they're truly this passionate about ensuring our democracy functions properly, perhaps they should consider introducing another provision: Voter IQ laws. Yes, making sure that we only allow real Americans who work at jobs that will allow them to leave on a weekday to wait in line at the DMV for four hours is a good first step, but I feel that if we truly want to honor the vision of the Founding Fathers, we should in fact only allow those who are informed on basic issues vote. Thomas Jefferson himself once said, "Democracy demands an educated and informed electorate," and we're all about taking everything the Founding Fathers said literally in this country. As such, I've taken it upon myself to design a basic three question primer that voters could be required to answer correctly before casting a ballot:

1. What country was the current President of the United States born in?

2. Is America legally a Christian nation?

3. Name three government agencies.

As you can probably see, I designed the questions with the intention that they would in no way suppress voters as any rational, reasonable, informed citizen would be able to answer them correctly without much thought. It's only three questions! The first addresses basic American civics dictating that the President of the United States must be born in the United States. The answer is in the question itself, so I don't really see this being a barrier for any voting block. The second goes over basic First Amendment facts -- you know the "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof," stuff people learn about in third grade. The final question is just there to determine if you're Rick Perry.

You see, democracy isn't reliant on people voting, it's reliant on the right people voting. As such, it is our responsibility as a nation to ensure that we make things as inconvenient and difficult as possible when it comes to casting a ballot, so that only the people who really want to vote get to. In fact, to streamline the process further, maybe we should just allow one person of extreme intellect and wealth cast one vote that counts for everyone. We could just call him a king or something -- you know, just like the Founding Fathers envisioned.

 

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