Are you qualified to vote?

Published 11:00 pm Saturday, November 3, 2012

Are you qualified to vote? Not meeting residency requirements, or being of age, but are you qualified? Do you know enough about the political system and the men and women we choose to run it to make an informed choice?

Many do. Many do not. The votes count exactly the same. Politicians count on the latter to come out in droves. Soundbites will suffice for those who do not pay attention, or who vote blindly on speeches and change. Political ads that massage the truth will fall flat to those who pay attention.

By qualified, though, I mean could you pass a test on the American system of government? For thousands of immigrants who follow the legal channels and fight their way into this country to become a citizen, they all have to pass a citizenship test. Applicants need to get at least 58 questions correct to pass. Remember, these are people from foreign lands wanting to be here, not those who were born here.

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Since voting is one of the most precious freedoms we enjoy, would you be able to pass a citizenship test to earn the right to vote? Here are a few examples of citizenship test questions. To pass the test, you must get five correct:

1- Who signs bills to become laws? A- secretary of state, B- Supreme Court chief justice, C- vice president, D- president

2- What ocean is on the East Coast of the United States? A- Arctic, B-Indian, C-Atlantic, D-Pacific

3- The current speaker of the House is? A- Hillary Clinton, B- Robert Byrd, C- John Boehner, D- Nancy Pelosi

4- Who is the commander in chief of the military? A- Vice president, B- president, C- secretary ofdDefense, D-Attorney General

5- What do we call the first 10 amendments to the Constitution? A- Bill of Rights, B- Declaration of Independence, C- inalienable rights, D- Articles of Confederation

6- Who is the father of our country? A- Abraham Lincoln, B- Thomas Jefferson, C- Patrick Henry, D- George Washington

7- What is one right, or freedom, from the First Amendment? A- To bear arms, B- To vote, C- Speech, D- Trial by jury

How did you do? The answers are below, but do not cheat. Best of luck. Full tests are available online.

I took the full test and got 96 of 98 correct. I feel quite qualified to vote on Tuesday.

Do you?

Sean P. Murphy can be reached at

Answers: D, C, C, B, A, D, C.