03/18/13 — Qualified voters? How about adding required reading

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Qualified voters? How about adding required reading

As the debate continues over whether it is unfair to ask those who want to cast ballots to bring some form of identification with them to the polls, an idea magically leaped from obscurity to possibility.

Is it possible that we could actually require those who are casting ballots to know something about the people for whom they are voting?

Radical, we know, but shockingly necessary.

You saw the stories during the last two elections -- people stopped by late night and talk show hosts and asked questions about the votes they had cast.

"Would you vote for Barack Obama for a third term?" or "Wasn't it something that Barack Obama picked Sarah Palin for his running mate?"

And you probably can guess the answers.

Wouldn't it be something if we could weed out people who were simply following a directive, didn't have anything better to do or, worse yet, sold their votes to the highest bidder?

What if you were required to have some knowledge of the people you were voting for before you could cast your ballot?

Won't happen, of course, but what if it did? Can you imagine the outcry as political interest groups defended the rights of those who could not even get the basics of the political system correct as they prepared to make decisions that would affect millions of Americans?

Voter identification is a small requirement for such a big responsibility as voting.

What would be wonderful is if we could get many of those who exercise that right to take it seriously -- including the politicians.

Published in Editorials on March 18, 2013 10:52 AM