Don’t play election day guessing games

Today is the first Tuesday in November. Guess what that means? It’s election day.It seems people claim to be patriotic, politically active and have national pride long before they either vote or step into a discussion about the United States.

For example, in 1991 Vice President Dan Quayle said, “It’s wonderful to be here in the great state of Chicago.”

Take a moment to let the complete lack of syntax from Danny Boy sink in. Before heading to the voting booth to pretend to be political by punching a straight party ticket without researching the candidates, try this little pre-suffrage examination. The topics are simple, American History, modern politics and general knowledge every voter should have.

1.) Who are the four faces on Mount Rushmore (President Rushmore is not a president)?

2.) How many members are there in the president’s cabinet (More than the dwarves, but less than the disciples)?

3.) What is the difference between a president and a precedent?

4.) Name the three branches of government:

5.) Which color represents Republicans, which is for Democrats?

6.) Would you have known it was election day had the first sentence of this not told you (Yes/No/Maybe)?

7.) Who were the first father/son presidents?

8.) Briefly describe your favorite constitutional amendment. This is free response (Mine’s the 3rd):

9.) How long are terms for members of the house of representatives, the presidency, the senate and the Supreme Court?

10.) Who is David Souter (kinda tricky, but go for it)?

Perhaps this is seen as an attack on people who don’t read newspapers or keep up with current events, but being ill-informed while making choices for the progress of a nation is a crime against democracy. Taking a moment to read a newspaper or magazine and use information to form an individual opinion that stimulates intelligent political discussion is imperative. Stronger discussion yields stronger conviction, which creates a smarter voter and citizen.


1.) Washington, Lincoln, Jefferson, Roosevelt

2.) 10

3.) President leads an organization, precedent deals with judicial law

4.) Judicial, Legislative, Executive

5.) Red, Blue

6.) Yes/No/Maybe

7.) John Adams and John Quincy Adams

8.) Third amendment deals with quartering of soldiers, but what is yours?

9.) Two years, four years, six years, lifetime

10.) Justice of the Supreme Court who lived with his mother until he was in his 50s. They even made a joke about him on Family Guy. He’s been there since 1990.

Associate editor Marcus Murphree is a senior news-editorial journalism major from Beaumont.