Answers for Civics Essential Quiz: Are you a well-informed Ohio citizen?

Are you a well-informed Ohio citizen? Thanks for taking our 3 ½ minute quiz on basic knowledge every good citizen should know about their government and how it functions.


This self-assessment Civics Essential survey is made possible with a Renewing Democracy grant from the Solutions Journalism Network that encourages reporting about how people and institutions are attempting to reinvigorate democracy in communities across the country.


Support for Ohio Civics Essential is provided by a strategic grant from the Ohio State Bar Foundation to improve civics knowledge of Ohio adults.

The views expressed herein do not necessarily represent those of the Ohio State Bar Foundation.


Answers follow:

  1. Drawing boundaries for political districts to gain a voter advantage for one party’s candidates is called:

__X_ Gerrymandering*

___ Political Spoils System

___ Patronage

___ Nepotism


*The word gerrymander (originally written Gerry-mander) was used for the first time in a Boston newspaper in 1812 after Governor Elbridge Gerry signed a bill that redistricted Massachusetts to benefit his Democratic-Republican Party. One of the contorted districts resembled the shape of a mythological salamander.

  1. Blocking passage of a Senate bill by debating it at length or offering procedural motions to keep it from coming to a vote is called:


__X_ Filibustering

___ Lobbying

___ Sandbagging

___ Delay of Game

  1. The First Amendment guarantee of free speech bans any censorship by:

__X_ government*

___ private companies

___ both

___ none of the above


*The First Amendment specifically prohibits Congress, but not private entities, from making any “law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

  1. Which duty or privilege applies to both citizens and non-citizens in the United States?

___ Can serve on a jury.

___ Can vote in a federal election.

_X__ Must pay taxes*

___ All of the above


*Both citizens and non-citizens, even illegal immigrants, must pay taxes. The most recent IRS data, from 2015, shows the agency received 4.4 million income tax returns from workers who don’t have Social Security numbers, which includes a large number of undocumented immigrants. That year, they paid $23.6 billion in income taxes.

  1. Freedom of religion includes the freedom not to believe in God.


___ False


*Our Constitution bars the government from interfering in anyone’s religious beliefs, even if they are atheists or believe in no religion at all.

  1. Under our Constitution, some powers belong to the federal government and others to the states. Match the power to the form of government, either Federal, State, Both, Neither

_State__ provide police protection

_State__ provide fire safety

_State__ issue a driver’s license

_State__ approve zoning/land use

_Federal__ make treaties

_Federal__ print money

_Federal__ declare war

_Federal__ create an army

  1. Match the branch of government with its official duty.

  1. Legislative _2__

  2. Executive _3__

  3. Judicial _1__

  4. None of these

  1. Reviews and interprets laws.

  2. Creates new laws.

  3. Enforces the laws.

  1. Match the offices to the number of years they are elected to serve.

  1. U.S. President _A__

  2. U.S. Senator _C__

  3. U.S. Representative _B__

  4. Governor of Ohio __A_

  1. 4 years

  2. 2 years

  3. 6 years

  4. No term limits

  1. How many justices are on the Supreme Court?

___ 5

___ 7

_X__ 9

___ 11


  1. Name all of the following who are currently U.S. Senators from Ohio.

__X_ Sherrod Brown

__X_ Rob Portman

___ Mike DeWine*

___ John Kasich

___ Richard Cordray

___ Jon Husted

___ Betty Sutton

___ Ted Strickland

___ Marcy Kaptur


*Mike Dewine is the current Ohio Attorney General and the Republican candidate for Governor of Ohio; John Kasich is the current Governor of Ohio; Richard Cordray is the Democratic candidate for Governor; Jon Husted is the current Ohio Secretary of State and the Republican candidate for Ohio Lt. Governor. Betty Sutton served as U.S. Representative for Ohio's 13th congressional district and is the Democratic candidate for Ohio Lt. Governor. Ted Strickland was the 68th Governor of Ohio. Marcy Kaptur, now in the House for just over 35 years as the Representative for Ohio’s 9th congressional district, has set the mark for the longest tenure by a woman.

  1. If both the President and the Vice President can no longer serve, who becomes President?

__X_ the Speaker of the House

___ the Senate Majority Leader

___ the Secretary of State

___ the President’s spouse

  1. Who is the Commander in Chief of the military?

___ The Chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff

__X_ The President*

___ The Director of the CIA

___ The Secretary of Defense


*The President can dismiss military leaders at will. He ultimately approves all military action on behalf of the United States. President Truman removed General MacArthur as military head of the Korean War because MacArthur refused to retreat from the Chinese border.

  1. Who does a U.S. Senator represent?

_X__ All people of the state*

___ Half the people of the state

___ The major cities in a state

___ Only their own Senatorial District


*Each state is allotted two senators, both of whom represent everyone in that state.

  1. Why do some states have more Representatives than other states?

_X__ They have more people*

___ Gerrymandering

___ The Electoral College

___ They have more voters


*Under our Constitution, the number of Representatives is based on the population of each state. Population is determined by the most recent U.S. Census.


  1. In Ohio, residents must have a photo ID in order to vote.

___ True

_ X__ False*


*Ohio accepts a photo ID for registration and voting but does not require it. Instead, you may use a current phone bill, utility bill or paycheck stub that includes your name and address. Visit for more details.

  1. How many U.S. Senators are there?

__X_ 100*

___ 50

___ 435

___ 25


*Our Constitution allots two senators to represent each state, no matter how small or large.


How you rate:

A perfect score? Fly the flag! You’re a Yankee Doodle Dandy!

One wrong? You’ve been recruited by Commodore Perry, the hero of The Battle of Lake Erie.

Two wrong? You still qualify as a Patriot. As Perry would have said: “Don’t give up the ship!”

Three wrong? Well, we won’t disinvite you from the Boston Tea Party.

Four wrong? Time to refresh your memory on high school civics class.

Five wrong? George Washington may be rolling in his grave.


Read more articles by Jim DeBrosse.

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