Voting is what makes the U. S. a democracy and is every American’s means of political participation. Knowledge tests were imposed on blacks that never had access to education. Expecting that those people who had little or no education answer every question correctly was implausible. I took just ten of the 68 questions in the Alabama Civic Knowledge Test, and answered only six correctly.
In taking some of the questions that were given in Alabama, I found that they were very specific and the answers were demanding. One question I was asked was what the Constitution limited the size of the District of Columbia to. The answer is ten square miles, an answer that most people still do not know today. Knowing the answer to a question such as this should not indicate that one citizen is more qualified than another to vote. It is evident that these questions were targeted at minorities and the less educated. It is as unjust to indirectly restrict groups from voting through literacy tests as it is to directly say specific groups can not vote.
Every citizen is promised by the Constitution equality, and unfortunately the whites found numerous ways to circumvent that promise. The primary way was through literacy tests. I feel that knowledge about politics should not be considered so heavily on one’s eligibility to vote. Every citizen should have the choice to vote or not regardless of wisdom on political issues.
The government is for the people, not just the property owning white males. I think that knowledge about politics should not be distinguished. It is too difficult to judge a person’s knowledge, and a 68 question test is not going to sufficiently determine it. I feel that the only qualifications needed to vote should be your citizenship. Every individual’s opinion together determines the public opinion.
The public opinion is most easily sought through voting. This is why every individual, not just the highly educated, should be given the right to vote. Literacy tests were a way of limiting voters and regulating the outcome of elections. The effort to keep the voting and government power from the blacks and minorities was finally outlawed by the Voting Rights Act of 1965. I feel that some political knowledge is important when voting.
However, a voter should take it upon themselves to learn about the individuals running in elections and should not be given a test to judge one’s eligibility to vote. A person voting should realize that their vote counts and take voting seriously. The individuals that are not interested in politics usually have very little political knowledge, and tend not to even get involved with the voting process. I feel that if a person cares enough about their government, they will educate themselves in the area of politics and vote. I think that is a test itself, because those that are not interested in politics will not even register to vote in U.
S. elections. Bibliography:none .