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Discussion Starter #1
As some of you know, I work in the elections industry. I have been interviewing some individuals and the position requires extensive computer experience along with a brain. In addition to knowing the specific computer skill set required, election experience is a big plus. Most in this country do not know the back-side of an election understably because voters usually only see their precinct's ballot style if they even get off their ass to vote.
I have tried to lowest common denomiator to screen out those who will fail due to general ignorance.


Here is a new set of questions I came up with and my first victim failed miserably today. (This is really sad as he was American. If someone was an immigrant and not a citizen, then I could understand. These questions basically come from the citizenship test. I forget what grade I learned them in. I think it was 4th or 5th) :eek:

//begin test. You are allowed one (1) error:

How many Senators, how many members of the House of Representatives in the United States?

How is state senate different than federal senate?

How long are the terms for House, President and Senate?

Who is your local congressperson and in which congressional district do you live in?

Who are the senators from your state?

Name one Supreme Court Justice

How often do we vote for Supreme Court Justices and how long is their term? (This may be the only trick question, but anyone who has listened to the news since July should know it) :D

Citizens vote for which two branches of Federal Government?

What is the Electoral College?

True or False, the presidential candidate with the most votes wins?
 

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wow i'm a [email protected]'ll admit it...i haven't paid attention to half that stuff since high school
 

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I don't think some of your comments are very fair,,, you come across to me that if we don't know those answers (with only one error) then we're stupid or something. On the other hand, it appears you are involved with politics on a much more regular basis. I would expect anyone that's heavily involved with it, as either a job or a hobby, to know those answers off the top of their head. If something comes up that I need to know who my congressman is, I'll look it up on the internet. Until then, I have more important things to concern myself with than memorizing who does what. Being a resident of New Hampshire and living in various other states/countries, I don’t care who the senators and congressmen are for Colorado! Now I could answer most of those, but there's no way I could get all but one.
I don't think I'm alone in my opinions and I'm not into politics. Granted I should probably pay more attention and do more than vote but, hey, that's me. Doesn't make me stupid or a bad American does it? As for voting,,, all anyone can do is vote for the lesser of two evils. Once most politicians are in office, they do what they want regardless of the promises they made to get there in the first place. I have the impression this test is in place for interviewing prospective employees where you work and it should stay there.
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Chris,

Here is another way to look at it which happens to be my approach:
If you worked for a car dealership and you were hiring salespeople, you would expect that they would know that a car has an engine and runs on gasoline or some other fuel? Same thing for airbags and other basic features of cars. If the salesperson cannot drive a manual transmission, that too is a sign that something is amis. Though a new salesperson many not be able to descibe the difference between direct fuel injections and multiport, he or she should know that tires require air to be inflated.

A high school education should represent a minimum set of skills. Though some can differ here, reading, knowing multiplication tables, basic grammar are on most everyone's list. Knowing the very basics of how our goverment works is part of this in every instance I have researched.

By design my employer is non-partisan. Some employees feel very stongly on one side, others the other and the rest in-between. No matter if you work in elections, IT, or somewhere else, there has to be a certain minimum standard that must be met. For me, for what I need, and for the significant salary that they will earn, the candidates must know that there are 50 states in the United States, that each state has two senators, that Washington D.C. is not a state, etc. After this, I go a little further. Those who do not know this will never succeed for the complexity of our tasks. Elections laws are very complex and confusing and only one candidate had any experience with them, and I understand that, so I need to start that the very beginning. Maybe tomorrow I will get a map of the world and ask the person to find the United States on the map and then Colorado.

None of my questions ask anything about political affiliation and political issues are not discussed (unlike this link that is for a partisan organization [not where I work]http://www.heritage.org/About/JobBank/JobBankApp.cfm)

For the past four months, nearly every day there has been newspaper articles, TV news stories etc about the Supreme Court and its vacancies. No matter what I do, I can't not hear about it.

Most of my questions come from the citizenship exam.
http://sfpl.lib.ca.us/librarylocations/main/pracquest.htm

My intent here is not to be unfair, but to find those candidates who can best represent the company (election-related)

If I were to be unfair, I could ask these questions, designed by educators for childen in the 6th-8th grade.

http://clerkkids.house.gov/parent_teach/lesson/first_day.html

Here is a list of questions for a 7th grade exam. It is much harder than mine.
http://www.kidtest.com/test/ohio-6battery/ohio-6citizenship-mdoc.html?show_description=y

If someone cannot get most of "my" basic questions correct then something is seriously wrong with the education system. Obviously some will be upset with their lack of knowledge in these areas and it anyone wants help in these areas, I would be glad to assist with resources. The reason I posted this was that I was so dumbfounded that these candidates did not prepare in the most minimal way for the topic at hand, nor did they know that there are 3 branches of goverment.

Again, if anyone wants help in these areas, I will gladly help. The US Citizenship guide is a great start.
 

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ok, ok, I understand your point now. I think I just took it the wrong way. To me, it seemed that you were saying anyone that couldn't answer those questions was stupid. Someone that works with, or is trying to work with politics (in any aspect) should know that. I admit to only getting about 2/3rds of those questions correct but then, I almost none of that stuff has ever been a hot topic in my life.

On another note,,, any other links for citizenship test examples?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I had a reply here with a ton of links but I must have screwed up and didn't post it correctly.
Here is a good link.
http://bensguide.gpo.gov
Despite how it is catering to children, it is a good overall reference of the goverment. I am using that site for an internal training at work next week.
I will get my full list together this weekend.

tom
 

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I got 100% does that mean I'm Canadian?! I get confused for one alot!

I am glad to see children's sites being used for professional training, It's about time!

this week Spot teaches you how to write a cover letter for your fax! next week Spots will teach direct paper feed fax basics!
 
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