Vivek Ramaswamy, one of the eight candidates for the Republican nomination for U.S. president, made headlines recently when he proposed changing the automatic voting age from 18 to 25, unless a citizen is enrolled in the military, works as a first-responder or passes the same civics test given to immigrants seeking American citizenship.
This is a questionable goal and one that would require a constitutional amendment. It is going to be hard to argue that every single person who casts ballots in local, state, and national elections has the requisite knowledge to pass the test given to immigrants.
Not to disparage any political affiliation or party, but does it really seem likely that all Democrats, Republicans, Progressives, Green Party members, MAGA members, etc. will have the basic civics and history knowledge at their fingertips, regardless of their age? And if 18- to 25-year-olds need to demonstrate that knowledge to vote, why not the rest of us?
Here's a selection of questions from the test immigrants take to become citizens. People are asked to familiarize themselves with 100 questions and are asked 10 of them. They need to get six right to pass the test.
What happened at the Constitutional Convention? Name one of the writers of the Federalist Papers. What territory did the United States buy from France in 1803? When was the Constitution written? What are three of the original 13 states? Who becomes president if the president and vice-president cannot serve?
Who was President during World War I? Who was President during the Great Depression and World War II? Before he was President, Eisenhower was a general. What war was he in? Who did the United States fight in World War II?
Name one of the two longest rivers in the United States Why does the flag have 13 stripes? Name a state that borders Mexico. Name a state that borders Canada. Describe one of the four amendments to the U.S. Constitution about who can vote. How many amendments have been made to the U.S. Constitution?
Until every single voter can answer a sufficient number of these questions correctly, Ramaswamy should forget this inane plan to disenfranchise one of the most powerful and politically motivated (think climate change/gun control and reproductive freedom) demographic groups in the nation.