Friday, November 13, 2015

Dear Glenn Reynolds, The evidence suggests people of all ages aren't up to the task of voting

Photo credit:  University of Tennessee

As quoted in Glenn Reynolds: After Yale, Mizzou, raise the voting age — to 25.  (USA Today, 11/12/2015)

Some of the numbers:
  • 36% can name all 3 branches of government
  • 35% cannot name a single branch of government
  • 27% know it takes 2/3s vote in Senate and House to override Presidential veto
  • 44% did not know which party controls the House (pre-2014 election)
  • 42% did not know which party controls the Senate (pre-2014 election)

From 2008.  (It's not a rhetorical question.)

Some of the historical numbers:
  • About 1 in 4 Americans can name more than one of the five freedoms guaranteed by the First Amendment (freedom of speech, religion, press, assembly and petition for redress of grievances.)
  • In 1991, Americans were asked how long the term of a United States senator is. Just 25% correctly answered six years.
  • How many senators are there? A poll a few years ago found that only 20% know that there are 100 senators,

Agree with Mama Cass?

If so, you might want to consider this evidence.  (I'm still looking for comparable baby-boomer and gen-Xer polls.)

Yes, once we get past our 25th birthday, it's adult conversations 24/7.

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