Tuesday, January 09, 2007


The New Jersey Legislature is considering a bill to remove the word "idiot" from the state constitution. Like New Mexico's, the Jersey constitution prohibits "idiots and insane persons" from voting.

From the CNN story:

(State Senate President Richard) Codey wants to eliminate a section that says "no idiot or insane person should enjoy the right of suffrage" and substitute with a reference to "a person who has been adjudicated by a court of competent jurisdiction to lack the capacity to understand the act of voting."

Codey, a Democrat who was previously acting governor of New Jersey, said in a statement the term "idiot" is "outdated, vague, offensive to many and may be subject to misinterpretation."

New Mexico's legislature passed a similiar measure a few years back, but when it went to voters in 2002, we rejected it.

Here's what I wrote in Roundhouse Roundup on Nov. 7, 2002:

Bad news for idiots: New Mexico voters balked Tuesday at the proposed constitutional amendment that, among other things, would have removed language from the state constitution that excludes “idiots” and “insane persons” from voting.

No idiots at the polls. This might explain low voter turnout. After all, New Mexico was recently ranked the stupidest state in the union.

Here’s a modest proposal: In addition to idiots, let’s have a constitutional amendment to expand that prohibition to include morons, imbeciles, nitwits, numbskulls, nincompoops and knuckleheads.

Of course, nothing would stop all of the above from seeking elected office.


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