Literacy and Voting Decisions

Jonathan Kozol in "The Cost of an Illiterate Society," believes that people who can't read or write "are forced to cast a vote of questionable worth. They cannot make informed decisions based on serious print information." He prefaces this comment by quoting James Madison, one of the Founding Fathers, who said, "A people who mean to be their own governors must arm themselves with the power knowledge gives" (RC,WW 403).

Do you read your voter's handbook? Do you understand your voter's handbook? How do you think your literacy contributes to your voting decisions?


  1. I think that me being able to read makes a big contribute to my voting decisions because I personally like to do researches and find articles/sources related to whatever I'm voting for. I try to read both sides like the Pro's and Con's because i don't wanna listen to what other people have to say since there sources might be inacurrate so i usually like to see things myself in order to believe it. For instance, like Prop8, I wanted to know why people were Yes on Prop 8 and No for Prop8. Also, I think literacy makes a impact on your voting decisions because you don't want people to tell you what to vote for like how would know if that person is being loyal to you? and if they're telling you to vote for the right thing. Therefore, in my opinion thats how literacy contributes to my voting decision.

  2. I believe that literacy plays a big role in contributing to our voting decision. If the person is not sure what is going on how will he/she reference back to something. Or also suporting their voting decision. In my opinion the person will basically be voting for nothing. From what I know being more being more literate, you're more educated. Meaning you know more of what's going on around you, like current events, and so if you're aware of whats going on and such you're more able to vote for whatever you feel is right.

  3. I believe that literacy plays an important part in voting because people need to hear your voice and know what they are voting for. An individual needs to know how to read in order to vote for the correct person. Many people vote for their peer's decision. It is significant to see both sides of the position.

  4. Literacy is vital. It contributes to voting decision by providing the tools to think critically and attempt to make a rational choice. However people are less and less tempted and interested in reading candidates handbook, mainly because they are often times very similar with one and another and "speak" to us as consumers and not citizens. Candidates are "selling" propositions, use a specific rhetoric that is very "politically correct" and this method has created a separation with voters who have lost interest. Here Literacy plays the role of bringing a general awareness to the vote and is more important than just being able to read the handbook


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