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September 24, 2004

Me Am Exercising Mine Franchise

Call me crazy, but I don't think this poll test will benefit the party Ted Rall obviously thinks it will.*

1. Who is the vice president?
2. What is your state capital?
3. Name one of the following: your governor, congressman or one senator.
4. What is the capital of the United States?
5. Name one federal cabinet-level department.

Fine with me. I'm all in favor of poll tests. I'd add a few others, like "Who was the first U.S. president," and "Name the three branches of the U.S. Government?" but that's because I'm more biased against stupid people than Ted is. I'd also make the questions different each year.

I wouldn't make them part of the electronic voting process, though--it would be just a matter of time before some wisenheimer hacked the system and made "What is the average flying velocity of an unladen swallow?" part of the test.

But when it comes down to it, to my mind the best poll test would be the simplest--leave each ballot blank aside from the title of the office being contested and make the voter write in the name of his choice.

Sample Ballot
Office of the President of the United States of America:____________________
Office of the Vice-President of the United States of America:____________________
United States Senator:____________________
Representative in Congress:____________________
Governer:____________________
State Senator:____________________
Representative in State Congress:____________________
Mayor:____________________

Races with multiple openings, like those for the School Board or County Commisioners, would have multiple blanks. If the voter can't think of the name of at least one candidate in a specific race, then they shouldn't be voting in the first place.

*You can see a study of education levels and party affiliation here.

My original analysis (post #1051.1.2) of the data supplied by the National Election Studies, Center for Political Studies, University of Michigan showed that people who had relatively little education (did not finish high school) were overwhelmingly Democrat by 61% to 39%, while people with relatively high education (at least some kind of college degree) were slightly more likely to be Republican by 53% to 47%.
...
The original claim that the Republicans would find eroded voter support with a better-educated populace does not seem to be supported by the data. In fact, to the extent that any correlation can be found between education level and party affiliation, it would seem that the opposite is true -- namely, that increased education levels do not hurt, and in some cases may help, the Republican party voter base.

Posted by Bigwig at September 24, 2004 01:34 PM | TrackBack
Postscript:
First time visitor to House Hraka? Wondering if everything we produce could possibly be as brilliant/stupid/evil/pedantic/insipid/inspired as the post you just read? Check out the Hraka Essentials, the (mostly) reader-selected guide to Hraka's best posts, and decide for yourself.
Comments

Great stuff today, BW. I'm all about requiring more than a body temperature about 98.6 to vote.

Posted by: Kevin at September 24, 2004 09:28 PM

In addition to those basic civics questions, I'd also like to see a few questions from Econ 101.

Posted by: Matt Skosh at September 25, 2004 11:49 AM
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