Fox News host Elisabeth Hasselbeck on Monday argued that requiring a “citizenship test” to vote made the outcome of elections “more meaningful.”
Two Republican state legislators in Utah last week announced a bill that would require students to pass a citizenship test before they could graduate high school. Former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, journalist Carl Bernstein, former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani and actor Joe Mantegna were backing similar measures in Utah and six other states.
On Monday, Utah Civics Education Initiative co-chair Lorena Riffo-Jensen told Hasselbeck that requiring a civics test was a good first step for encouraging students to be involved in the community.
Hasselbeck suggested taking the idea “one step further” by requiring a test to vote.
“Should you have to answer, I mean, the majority of these questions?” she wondered. “If not by graduation of high school, but by the time you vote?”
“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,” Riffo-Jensen agreed. “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.”
“It’s a more meaningful measure when you vote perhaps too,” Hasselbeck declared.
“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,” Riffo-Jensen said.
One part of “the history” that the Fox News segment did not cover, however, was how so-called literacy tests were used to disenfranchise black voters during segregation.
Watch the video below from Fox News’ Fox & Friends, broadcast Sept. 22, 2014.