The Corner

Literacy Tests

A few liberal readers seem horrified –or at least dismayed — by my belief that voting should be more difficult. They ask, “What do you want, literacy tests?”

My short answer is yes. My slightly longer answer is, I haven’t a clue what is wrong with literacy tests if you take the racial connotation out of the equation. What, exactly, is so bad about the idea of expecting a certain minimal degree of education before letting citizens vote? It seems to me that literacy tests are the bare minimum. Of course they would be a logistical nightmare to implement and wholly unpractical. But as an abstract standard I simply don’t get why liberals are horrified by the idea (other than the fact that it might dissuade some of their voters).

Seriously, the argument for letting ex-cons vote is that it encourages them to rejoin society as stakeholders and citizens. Okay, well, wouldn’t letting only the literate vote encourage citizens, including ex-cons, to learn to read? And, isn’t an informed/educated electorate better on the whole than an uninformed/uneducated one?

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