Theoretical exercise: What should be on a political literacy test to vote

What level of knowledge makes for a well informed voter? What is the minimum level of knowledge about America, the world, history, government, science, philosophy, etc. you would want from every voter.

Do we start with memorizing the constitution or is that too much?

I believe a political literacy test to vote is impractical due to the concentration of power given to those that write and administer such a test. The opportunity to benefit from the abuse of such a test is too great. Even if we cannot require it we can strive to raise the level of political literacy voluntarily. The exercise is to determine what is relevant political literacy.

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I don’t agree with a test to vote, but I do think civics is an important core part of public schooling.


It might be nice to do something like remove the “R” and “D” next to the names of the candidates. Along with randomizing the order (so the green or libertarian or whatever could be first). Make people either know who it is they want to vote for or go totally random.


Any specifics you think must be covered in civics class?

Definitely should remove R and D next to candidates.


How laws are made. The different parts of government and how they mesh.

I think it’d be good if people walked away with a better understanding of what each elected official can and can’t actually do.

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Can we first have a literacy test to run for office?


Should flat earthers be allowed to vote?


Whatever questions they ask in Black Jeopardy, imo


I propose no restrictions on voting imo.

Universal right.

Voting right is granted to new borns, people with dementia, people in coma, people deranged, people with negative IQ, people braindead

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Maybe limit it to “can make a mark on paper or hit a button on a screen without assistance”. Many papers might have to be thrown out due to ambiguous marks…

Civics class list:

  1. Bills into laws.
  2. Different branches of the government and what they do.
  3. Different levels of government and what they do; school board, town council, state reps, governor, congress and president.

I like that list for a requirement from HS graduation. That would increase political literacy without resorting to testing to vote.

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That’s a nice list - I modified it slightly


I agree with the modifications.

Sure, those are great things to know, but I don’t believe that being knowledgeable about those topics has any impact on your (in)capability of making a reasoned choice for a candidate. Being an informed voter is based on the platforms of the actual individual candidates, which requires doing some reading/watching news for each election cycle.

And since I don’t think there is a fair way to measure/threshold that knowledge, informed voter requirements are a lost cause.

We already require a “political literacy test” for becoming a citizen (and therefore getting the right to vote). Why not start there? (and, yes it is political)

Or, collect final exam questions from HS teachers for HS Civics and for HS US history. Take the most frequently used questions.

Yes the naturalization test is somewhat political. There is a 2008 version and a 2020 version. Complete lists of questions here:

I was thinking of a test that indicates that the voter knows how to use the voting equipment.

Then you’re going to bias the voting population to those who are tech savvy. How dare you!!!