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post #1 of 26 (permalink) Old 08-16-2006, 08:39 AM Thread Starter
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New Voting Law Proposal

My wife heard recently that a startlingly low number of Americans have any clue how government works. Some quick Google-fu reveals a July article in USA Today, whereby adults (not snot-nosed highschoolers) you meet stand about a 50/50 chance of naming all three branches of government, or defining the separation of powers.
"As for this nation's adults, in an American Bar Association poll last summer, a little more than half of those surveyed were able to name the three branches of our government. Fewer than half had any idea what "the separation of powers" means."
So...how about a simple test at the polling places? You must correctly name the three branches of government before you can vote. You can use the formal or informal names (executive/white house, legislative/congress/senate/house, judicial/supreme court/judges/courts), but you must identify all three.

Let the chants of "hate monger", "facist", and "racist" begin...
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post #2 of 26 (permalink) Old 08-16-2006, 09:58 AM
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Has anyone seen the test the INS gives to people before they can become a naturalized citizen of the USA? I haven't, but I think they are a lot more involved than yours, and probably should be.

I guess my point is this: Those people know a lot more about our government, constitution, et cetera, than the average American who just happened to be born here, but didn't pay much atention in their Civics or History classes. "I plead guilty your honor".

hehe, let the flames begin

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post #3 of 26 (permalink) Old 08-16-2006, 10:01 AM
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They've taken the opposite approach here in Arizona, and have actually attached a jackpot lottery to voting in order to attract all the folks to the polls who don't even know what a 'candidate' is...

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post #4 of 26 (permalink) Old 08-16-2006, 10:35 AM
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Part of me says yes, bring on the test and make it hard. I would be happy to be one of the few around here with a vote on election day. And that initially sounds like a great idea, but lack of ability should not negate a citizen's right to representation. If you start going down that road, it's just a matter of time before you're putting people in ovens or cutting up the lazy for organs.
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post #5 of 26 (permalink) Old 08-16-2006, 10:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by QBNCGAR
My wife heard recently that a startlingly low number of Americans have any clue how government works. Some quick Google-fu reveals a July article in USA Today, whereby adults (not snot-nosed highschoolers) you meet stand about a 50/50 chance of naming all three branches of government, or defining the separation of powers.
The Nina......The Pinta........And the Santa Maria.



Seriously though. We used to sit in my buddies basement, blow weed and record conversations. In one such recording, his step-father was heard to say, "If you don't know who to vote for, you shouldn't be voting". It actually sounded like, "If you don't know who to vote for, you're shittin' the boat'n", which provided us with much laughter and conviviality in our altered state. But I digress. What is the point of providing incentive to those who don't give a shit?
Quality not quantity.

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post #6 of 26 (permalink) Old 08-16-2006, 10:48 AM
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A polling place in every trailer park! -- just trying out new campaign slogans...

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post #7 of 26 (permalink) Old 08-16-2006, 10:49 AM
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Originally Posted by ThrillKill
The Nina......The Pinta........And the Santa Maria.
Hmmm, wrong answer ThrillKill

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post #8 of 26 (permalink) Old 08-16-2006, 10:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gregs300CD
Part of me says yes, bring on the test and make it hard. I would be happy to be one of the few around here with a vote on election day. And that initially sounds like a great idea, but lack of ability should not negate a citizen's right to representation. If you start going down that road, it's just a matter of time before you're putting people in ovens or cutting up the lazy for organs.
What about the next-to-impossible test they used to give Afro-Americans (in the south mostly I think) to keep them from voting?

Does anyone know much more about this, because I sure don't?

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post #9 of 26 (permalink) Old 08-16-2006, 11:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Musikmann
What about the next-to-impossible test they used to give Afro-Americans (in the south mostly I think) to keep them from voting?

Does anyone know much more about this, because I sure don't?
Reference the Jim Crow Laws which were "gate laws" to stop blacks from voting in the south.

Those laws are why there cannot be a test before allowing someone to vote.

EDIT: This link, while long and from People for American Way [I googled to find a good link] is a good read that shows Jim Crow from the 1870's when the issues started to now when they apparently are still going. Here is a paragraph that is 5 pages from the end but the whole thing is a pretty good read.
+++++
When federal troops were withdrawn from the South in 1877, violence, intimidation and corruption were powerful tools the Southern white elite used to put itself back in power. Once seats in government were obtained, legalistic barriers like poll taxes and literacy tests were put into place to ensure that African Americans would not regain political power. By the middle of the 20th century, much of the violence and intimidation meant to deny African Americans the right to vote happened long before Election Day. Simply registering to vote was the most dangerous step, so intimidation at the polls was not as important as it would become in later decades. Most people would never get that far.
+++++
http://www.pfaw.org/pfaw/general/default.aspx?oid=16367

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post #10 of 26 (permalink) Old 08-16-2006, 12:07 PM
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Angry Jim Crow Laws

Quote:
Originally Posted by mcbear
Reference the Jim Crow Laws which were "gate laws" to stop blacks from voting in the south. Those laws are why there cannot be a test before allowing someone to vote.

http://www.pfaw.org/pfaw/general/default.aspx?oid=16367
Thanks much McBear - needless to say, those were part of the American "dark ages". I'm going to read the entire 5 pages

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