As we all know, 100% universal franchise is fiction - in every country, no matter how democratic, SOME people are excluded from franchise (felons, under-18-year-olds, foreign nationals, etc...).

Was there ever a political[1] jurisdiction that restricted franchise very explicitly by intelligence threshold[2][3] (e.g., you can vote at 13, if you're smart enough, but you can't vote at 30 if you're not smart enough to be trusted to vote).

[1] - I am clearly excluding cases where the electorate themselves are naturally IQ clustered, such as academia elections. Just general, at-large governance elections are in scope.

[2] - Intelligence as measured reasonably directly - e.g. while someone may (correctly or not) claim that a poll tax is correlated to a degree with intelligence, the example is out of scope for the question, unless the organizers explicitly proved that their proxy test both highly correlates with intelligence, AND upfront-explained it this way. FWIW, usually poll taxes are explain in ways unrelated to intelligece

[3] - Issues such as whether IQ or some other measure to verify intelligence work or not; or if they are "fair" or not, is outside the scope.

  • Does allowing to vote depending on whether you have graduated a university count? – Anixx Sep 20 '13 at 20:32
  • @Anixx - as per #2, only if it's explicitly explained up-front as a proxy for intelligence by people passing such a rule, and not as some other reason (e.g. if the reason is "this elected post mostly only affects the university system", that doesn't count) – user4012 Sep 20 '13 at 20:34
  • 1
    Would literacy tests that really had the intention of excluding African Americans in the US south count? – Andrew Grimm Sep 20 '13 at 21:43
  • 1
    That's not true if you're arguing for knowledge. IQ tests don't test for knowledge, they test for intelligence. – Avi Sep 21 '13 at 2:13
  • 1
    That may be the case, but IQ tests are even given to five year olds. – Avi Sep 21 '13 at 15:16

You must log in to answer this question.

Browse other questions tagged .