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Saturday, Aug. 27, 2016

Could we change one-man, one vote?

Wednesday, September 1, 2004

While listening to a political talk show last week, the host suggested that voters be required to pass some simple test in order to have their vote counted. His suggestion was to have a 100 question test on government and current events. To have your vote counted you would have to get just five correct answers. And of course, the more I pondered his suggestion, the more I liked it. But as usual, I would take it one step further.

For example, with all of the ample discussion on the high importance we give to military service, I would suggest that veterans get two votes. Those veterans who actually served in a combat zone and not some desk job at Ft. Riley, Kansas, would get three votes.

And since I'm dreaming, landowners who pay more taxes than non-landowners, would also get two votes. Keeping the same job for five years would net you two votes as well.

I'm on a roll now.

People who volunteer their services to their church or their hospital or some legitimate charity would also get two votes. I believe if you're willing to give back to help others then you should have a greater voice in the choices of this great nation. And keep in mind, absolutely every person in America would be eligible for these additional voting privileges.

If we can remove a voter's privileges for committing a criminal felony, why can't we reward and expand their voting for exceptional service to their nation? And if someone pays sufficient taxes to support some who pay none, why then are those people not given additional voice in the future of our country?

If we can administer a test to permit driving privileges, why not a test to permit voting privileges? If we mandate minimal understanding for citizenship in this country, what would be wrong with mandating minimal understanding to elect those who will lead this nation?

Under this system of voting, everyone would still have voting privileges but those who work to defend this nation, those who work to improve this nation and those who work to help others would have a greater voice. To bring about change, more voters would participate in the production of this country if they wanted that greater voice. They would serve others, they would remain productive and their voices and choices would carry greater weight.

Never in a million years would this plan become a reality. The concept of one man, one vote is such a part of our fabric that any change would bring instant condemnation. Yet the reality is that under such a plan, every citizen regardless of their circumstances would have the exact opportunity to create additional voting power simply by providing service above self. What an interesting idea!

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