Zach Nold

Our Bill of Rights lays out inherent rights that we have as human beings. The right to free speech, the right to worship whomever, the right to bear arms: the list goes on and on. The right to vote, however, wasn’t deemed an inherit one. In the Constitution only landowners could vote. The Founding Fathers believed that if you contributed to government, and in turn society, then you should get the privilege to participate in this great country’s government.

Obviously, with this restriction our Founding Fathers disenfranchised many people based on their race and gender, none of which was right. But they understood a concept that should be applied to today’s voting system. Only if you contribute to the betterment of a country can you vote in its elections.

The law for this process should look like this: anyone who receives more than 50 percent of his or her income from the government shall not vote in an election. Exceptions to this law include: a soldier receiving VA benefits for serving his or her country more than most, a senior citizen receiving benefits who has already put in 40 or more years of hard work and a disabled person who physically can’t work.

What does this mean for high school and college students? If a high school student makes $4,000 a year and takes no benefits personally, then he or she should be allowed to vote. A high schooler’s financial support mainly comes from his or her household. College students who take loans (which aren’t benefits because you have to pay them back) would be able to vote as long as they don’t take benefits equal to more than 50 percent of their income.

What about stay-at-home parents? If you have a spouse in the work force who makes enough money to support the family, allowing you to eschew government benefits, you would be allowed to vote, too.

Essentially the law states that everyone who receives more than half of their income from the government wouldn’t be allowed to vote, with the exception of the three aforementioned categories. In theory they’re taking more than what they’re contributing to society.

What would one consider contributing to society? If you make an income of $12,000 a year, and you receive $12,000 or more in benefits, you wouldn’t be allowed to vote. If you look at yourself like a subsidized project, and more than half of you is supported by someone other than yourself, then you wouldn’t be making the biggest contribution. Hence you wouldn’t be contributing to society, much less yourself.

Our society would be benefit greatly from this law. Able-bodied individuals would be forced off their couches and into the work force if they wanted to vote. Kids would work harder in school and strive harder to obtain better jobs so they, in turn, could participate in government.

Most importantly, it would keep those like the “Obama Phone” lady – those who choose to stay low income by sponging off the government – from voting.

Those who choose not to work hard and expect society to take care of them, when they are perfectly capable of taking care of themselves, shouldn’t be allowed to vote. A voting law isn’t an attack on the poor; it’s a way to keep those like Obama phone lady from picking our leaders. I don’t want her picking what color Crayola to write with, much less my future president.

What about single parents? The concept doesn’t change. In this day and age, it’s usually the parent’s choices (exception: rape) that created the kid in the first place. If an individual’s marriage ends in divorce, that would be their choice as well. If this caused the need for government benefits, then through their choices they ended up being the ones not allowed to vote.

If someone is poor and needs government aid, I’m not saying suspend it by any means. I’m saying that until they get back on their feet, they won’t be allowed to vote. For most Americans this wouldn’t be a big deal. We all fall on hard times, and the country has fallen on hard times in recent years. This law wouldn’t prohibit a person from accepting aid; it would only lay down guidelines for voting if you did accept aid.

Those who contribute to society, and give more than they take, should be allowed to participate in it. The fact is that millions of people take voting for granted, and it’s worrisome. They, in turn, vote for those that will give them more handouts. This allows them to become less and less productive members of society.

There once was a time when Americans took pride in hard work while giving back to their country and society. Kids were raised right and people didn’t look favorably on those who fed off the government. We need to get back to a society that holds others accountable for what they contribute.

Allowing only those who contribute to both government and society to vote is a way to do exactly that. Those who want to vote would be allowed to under this law, assuming they work hard and contribute to society. A sense of pride and accomplishment would be given to those who earn the right to vote. Which, in turn, hopefully makes them tell their children they need to work hard so they, too, can earn the right to vote once they enter the work force.

The law wouldn’t be about keeping anyone from voting. Hard work and actively participating in the betterment of society is what such a law would encourage. Why would you give a kid a trophy for a football game when he didn’t play or add to the team? Same concept, only on a bigger scale.

Zachary Nold is a Senior English Major. you can follow him on Twitter @ZachNold AND reach him at opinion@

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