Opinions Expressed Through ‘Bean Polls’

Editor, News-Register:

On June 16 and 17 two “Bean Polls,” called that because opinions were expressed by placing dried beans in jars, were conducted at Wheeling Arts & Culture Fest by Ohio Valley PEACE. While visitors to the OVP booth were invited randomly to participate, those doing so volunteered. The results of these informal polls, titled “Social Issues” and “Violence and Safety,” do give an indication of the sentiment of participants, though a scientifically designed poll might give more accurate numbers.

Beyond checking the pulse of those in the Ohio Valley, the purpose of these opinion polls is to stimulate thinking and discussion about hot topics highlighted by political campaigns. Here are the results of the polls:

Social Issues

1. Should a woman have the right to terminate her pregnancy? (yes, 85 percent; no, 15 percent.)

2. hould health insurance be provided by the government? (yes, 82 percent; no, 18 percent.)

3. Are racial and ethnic minorities disadvantaged in the U.S.? (yes, 81 percent; no, 19 percent.)

4. Should two-year college be free to all students? (yes, 78 percent; no, 22 percent.)

5. Should the government provide care for the elderly and disabled? (yes, 98 percent; no, 2 percent.)

6. Should food stamp recipients be subjected to drug and alcohol testing? (yes, 51 percent; no, 49 percent.)

Violence and Safety

1. Should assault weapons be permitted for recreational use in the U.S.? (yes, 27 percent; no, 73 percent.)

2. Should a background check and permit be required to own a firearm? (yes, 94 percent; no, 6 percent.)

3. Should speech that incites violence be limited? (yes, 59 percent; no, 41 percent.)

4. Should social media websites regulate user conduct? (yes, 60 percent; no, 40 percent.)

5. Has international terrorism in the U.S. been increasing? (yes, 46 percent; no, 54 percent.)

6. Does U.S. ally Saudi Arabia support terrorism? (yes, 80 percent; no, 20 percent.)

John Rockwell