One often hears comments about how “The Constitution guarantees the right to vote.” In fact, if you listened relatively closely to exit poll participants’ comments during this past year’s presidential election you could hear that so-called “fact” uttered over and over again.
The truth of the matter is that the United States Constitution has no federal constitutional “right to vote” for United States citizens contained therein. The actual right to bestow voting privileges, and/or restrictions thereon, is left to the individual states to administer.
And, therein is the problem. Frequently, states do not thoroughly “qualify” citizens to vote. Routinely, state government election bureaucrats are not even sure if the individuals voting in their elections are United States citizens at all.
The fact that some states routinely “look the other way” when it comes to proving United States citizenship status is a direct insult to all naturalized citizens who followed detailed citizenship naturalization procedures in order to receive their “naturalized” citizenship status—including the taking and passing of a comprehensive United States naturalization test printed in the English language.
Is it possible that many illegal immigrants in the United States found their way to the polls to cast their vote in this past presidential election—and were permitted to do so by election officials?
Is it also possible that these same illegal immigrants together with some really stupid “legal” but illiterate or near-illiterate citizens cast their vote (a vote counted equally with yours) for candidates or issues that they had absolutely no understanding of?
The absurd answer is “yes” to both of the above questions.
Wouldn’t it make much more sense if the 50 states adopted a test with content similar to that found in the United States naturalization test and required that all voters pass the test at least once during every 12 year period or so?
At least all voters would be required to know such things as: Who is the chief justice of the Supreme Court today? In what year was the Constitution written? What does the First Amendment to the Constitution guarantee? What is the Declaration of Independence and when was it adopted? What are the 13 original states? What do the stripes on the U.S. flag mean? How many changes or amendments are there to the Constitution? What are the requirements to become president of the United States? How many representatives are there in Congress? Who has the power to declare war? Why did the Pilgrims come to America? Who said, “Give me liberty or give me death?”
The above or similar questions are currently found in the naturalization test required to be passed by all new “legal” immigrants. Illegal immigrants are frequently permitted to bypass the naturalization process altogether by living in so-called “sanctuary” cities or working a combination of the “black market” labor force together with accepting liberal welfare benefits, including free education, free food stamps and free health-care—resulting in a drastic “cheapening” of the entire United States legal immigration process.
The country’s founders certainly had the concept in mind that all voters would be both legal citizens as well as reasonably informed citizens before they would be permitted to vote.
Perhaps the country has now progressed or declined to the point that assurances must now be put into place in each state to make sure that our country is not corrupted further by illegal immigrant voting and voting by an uninformed or ill-informed voting-age citizenry.
Certainly, a testing procedure to prove citizenship beyond a reasonable doubt must be developed and implemented, together with the development and implementation of a comprehensive national knowledge test (Voter Eligibility Test (VET)–Giving a whole new meaning to the “vetting” process in elections.) written and taken in English similar to the United States naturalization test, prior to anyone in any state being judged as an “eligible” voter.
© Submitted by Bob Grafe for publication on January 2, 2009.