Could you pass a citizenship test?

As citizens, we need to take the time to educate ourselves about political participation.

by Maddie Eaton

“Super Saturday” has come and gone, and while it seems people are particularly fired up over this election, there’s still an incredible number of folks who don’t understand the political system in its entirety. This is a tremendous problem — everyone who’s a citizen should learn how to exercise their rights.
As first-time participant, I admittedly knew very little going into this year’s caucuses. However, a quick Internet search went a long way. After I briefed myself with a YouTube video on what a caucus was and what participants should expect, off I went. 
Most everyone else I spoke with at my caucus site was just as naive as I’d been, if not more so. Yet, if people would just set aside a few minutes of their time for research, we as a nation could become better educated.
Unfortunately, political ignorance begins early on in our lives. Not every state requires its students to pass a mock citizenship 
examination before they graduate from high school. This means much of the country’s native population may be graduating without the political knowledge we expect from immigrants seeking citizenship. 
As a country that encourages citizens to exercise their democratic rights, we don’t do a great job educating them about how exactly to do that. But I believe that requiring all high school students to pass a mock citizenship test would increase the level of participation in our electoral system.
Were this to happen, we could hopefully begin to elect political candidates who more accurately represent us on both a state and national level, ensuring a fairer society for all.
Maddie Eaton welcomes comments at [email protected].