In his recent column, Gerald Caruso seems to have difficulty with the concept of universal suffrage, appearing to believe that only certain people should vote (“Voters hardly ‘disenfranchised’ by new registration requirements” July 29). I’d be interested to hear his opinion on what constitutes an informed voter.

Would he favor excluding the 33 percent of the population that, in a recent survey, weren’t able to pass the basic citizenship test? Would he require a familiarity with the Maine Constitution as well as the federal and state budgets, since knowledge of these documents would be critical to being a truly informed voter? Maybe he would require voters to regularly listen to Rush Limbaugh, or read the New York Times, or have taken at least one economics, history or government class?

His opinion piece puts the lie to the idea that this is about anything but voter disenfranchisement. If Mr. Caruso were to read his history, he would learn that the importance of voters being informed underlay the strategy of Southern states in preventing African-Americans from voting, until the Supreme Court ruled such laws unconstitutional. Mr. Caruso appears to want to take us back to the good old days when those who knew better decided who among the rest of us could vote.

It’s interesting. I always thought, reading the coverage of elections in which we do well to get 50 percent participation, that the problem was lack of participation. For Caruso and Maine Republican Party chairman Charlie Webster, the issue is too much participation.