Friday, October 29, 2004

Voter Screening Processes

The other Matt over at It's Matt's World argues that

It is my firm belief that there should actually be some sort of screening process instituted for all prospective voters, in order to weed-out the uninformed, and just plain dumb people (this would be for everyone, by the way, and not just Republicans. Heh.)

I had the pleasure of attending a lecture at the law school today by the eminent journalist and professor Roger Wilkins. Wilkins related an anecdote about writing an editorial for the New York Times when the Voting Rights Act was up for reauthorization, arguing against the idea of reinstating literacy tests at the polls. The Editor at the time expressed an idea much like Matt's above.

Wilkins purportedly responded something like, "If you print an editorial arguing that illiterate, uninformed people shouldn't have to pay taxes or serve in Vietnam, I will agree to modify my editorial."

His editorial against literacy tests ran unmodified in the Times the next day.


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