New York City Club Favors Literacy

An important measure passed in the closing days of the legislative session was the Steinberg Literacy Test Bill, which provides for the administration of the Literacy Test provision of the constitution by educational authorities instead of by election officials, says the May Bulletin of the City Club of New York. The statement in part follows:

“The present Election Law in Section 166 and elsewhere provides for the administration of literacy test for new voters by the election officials. It provides that the extracts from the Constitution be printed and that they be drawn by the voters who are required to read the printed matter and write ten words in English.

“This provision is similar to the provisions in Election Laws of other states. It proves unsatisfactory there, and it has also proved unsatisfactory in last year’s election in this state.

“The Steinberg bill now before the governor provides that the literacy test be placed in the hands of the state educational authorities. Standards will be uniform. New voters who have received ordinary school education will receive literacy certificates as a matter of course. Others will receive them after the examination, and those unable to pass the examination will have the encouragement and incentive to fit themselves for citizenship by attending special classes.”

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