Noelle, what do you think about the idea of having to pass a short history / civics test before being allowed to register to vote? (ProTip: I'm being serious, here!) I know I'll get heat for this, but I personally believe that we should make it harder to vote, not easier. Obviously, there would be a committee to make sure the test isn't ethnocentrically biased (everyone from every background, for example, should know that the U.S. has fifty states or that we have a bicameral legislature) and the questions would be the sort of things that new immigrants have to know to become U.S. citizens anyway. If you don't know who the current vice president is, you don't get to vote. Simple as that.
You'd need an amendment to do this, and it would have to be exceptionally well crafted. Not only to pass, but also to serve a useful purpose.
I'd be for a test to vote that tested for
- Basic math
- Basic logic
- Basic critical thinking
- Basic civics
- Basic geopolitical knowledge ("Name ten foreign countries, their capitals and their heads of state")
As long as the questions and answers were publicly known and verifiable, if:
1) No one is allowed to work more than half a day on a voting day. Requiring someone to work for more than half a day should be a felony (guarantee time to vote)
2) Any ID requirement must be state-funded (guarantee the verification to vote)
3) Any electronic voting method must produce a printed receipt to which a voting stub is affixed. Guarantee the security of a vote.
4) Harsher penalties for screwing up voting transparency. As above.
5) More public encouragement of voting registration.
6) Eliminate gerrymandering. Guarantee a vote being meaningful.
7) Guarantee same-day registration for full ballot access.
Although as mentioned, it'd be easier to do this with elected officials. Can make the tests a bit tougher, even.