Fox Host Elisabeth Hasselbeck Says Citizens Should Have To Pass A Test Before They Are Allowed To Vote (VIDEO)

Fox and Friends
Ignoring past tests that have been used to disenfranchise voters in United States history, Elisabeth Hasselbeck called for requiring people to pass a “citizenship test” to be allowed voting rights.

On Monday, Fox & Friends ran a segment about a Utah bill that will require students to pass a citizenship test to graduate high school if it becomes law. According to the Salt Lake Tribune,

The test’s 100 questions range from basic knowledge to slightly more difficult. One question asks the name of the current U.S. president. Another asks how many amendments the U.S. Constitution has. Students would have to answer 60 percent of the test’s questions correctly to get a diploma.

But while that seems reasonable for high school students to graduate, Fox host Elisabeth Hasselbeck suggested taking the test a dark step further while interviewing Utah Civics Education Initiative co-chair Lorena Riffo-Jenson by requiring people to pass the test to be allowed to vote.

HASSELBECK: Should you have to answer, I mean, the majority of these questions? If not by graduation of high school, but by the time you vote?

RIFFO-JENSEN: I think, personally, that anything you can do to ensure that our young people, our families are involved in civics, learning the history of our country is a positive. And furthermore, how can you go into planning what the generation will do in the future if you’re not prepared and understanding where we have been… You cannot be engaged without having the full knowledge and understanding of your nation.

HASSELBECK: It’s a more meaningful measure when you vote perhaps too.

RIFFO-JENSEN: I just wouldn’t understand how we can be engaged citizens and voting if we don’t know the history, how our government works, and I think this is something very important for all of us as Americans.

Here’s the video:

Proposed by Republicans, the citizenship test for high school graduates is being considered in six other states. But if it were to become a requirement for voting rights, it would threaten democracy. Tests have been used before in this country to keep citizens from voting, most notably during the Jim Crow era, when literacy tests prevented African-Americans from voting between 1890 and 1965, when the Voting Rights Act abolished the tests.

Of course, Hasselbeck’s suggestion falls perfectly in line with Republican efforts to lessen the impact of the youth vote in elections. In 2012, the youth vote hammered the GOP. Sixty percent of young voters aged 18-29 voted to re-elect President Obama, while only 36 percent voted for Mitt Romney. Clearly, Republicans fear young people because if young people turn out to vote, the GOP loses. Forcing high school seniors to pass a test in order to exercise their constitutional right to vote might keep many potential Democratic voters from doing so. Thus, the GOP would narrow the young voter gap. Obviously, such a test is unconstitutional, but considering the Supreme Court is dominated by five conservatives who don’t give a damn about the law — and who struck down a key part of the Voting Right Act — a citizenship test could become a reality.

From there, such a test could take the leap to apply to all voters. And the results could be disastrous for Americans while being fantastic for Republicans. In a recent poll, approximately one-third of Americans can’t even name a single branch of the United Stated government. As we all should know, the branches are the Judicial, Legislative, and Executive. Most likely, a citizenship test will ask such questions. And if Americans can’t even name one branch of the government, it stands to reasons that they may not be able to answer many other questions as well. In fact, one-third of native-born Americans failed the same kind of citizenship test that immigrants must pass to become an American citizen. That’s alarming news in itself, but if such a test becomes a requirement to be allowed to vote, a large swath of American citizens would be barred from voting. It would be a Republican dream come true.