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Protect Equal Voting Rights: Tell Your Representative to Stop Modern-Day Poll Taxes

Protect Equal Voting Rights: Tell Your Representative to Stop Modern-Day Poll Taxes

This post was written by Renee Davidson and originally appeared on Voices of the League.

This week marks the anniversary of the House of Representatives’ passage of the 24th Amendment, landmark legislation that sought to outlaw the poll tax as a voting requirement in federal elections. After ratification by the states, the 24th Amendment became law in January 1964.

We mark this anniversary today as we continue to battle modern-day voter suppression efforts. Join us as we call on the House of Representatives to pass the Voting Rights Amendment Act (VRAA), a flexible, modern answer to the problem of discrimination in voting.

The poll tax was just one of a number of Jim Crow laws, or racially discriminatory measures that aimed to disenfranchise black voters and enforce segregation following Reconstruction. Although the 15th Amendment, passed in 1870, had granted African-Americans the right to vote, many states had implemented poll taxes as a means to keep them from voting. By the time the 24th Amendment was ratified, hundreds of thousands of voters had been disenfranchised as a result of poll taxes.

Our nation has taken great strides in advancing equality since Congress passed the 24th Amendment.But voter discrimination still exists today, and minority voices are still being silenced.Voters in low-income and minority communities are particularly impacted by flawed redistricting efforts and restrictive voter ID laws the latter of which some consider a modern-day “poll tax.”

It’s critical that voters everywhere urge the House to pass the Voting Rights Amendment Act of 2014 and equip our democracy to respond to present-day voter discrimination.

The 24th Amendment was part of the civil rights movement that illustrated our country’s commitment to democracy and equality. Today, we must honor the 24th Amendment by refusing to be idle as the voting rights of Americans everywhere are at risk, and we urge the House to do the same by passing the Voting Rights Amendment Act.

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Photo credit: League of Women Voters

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3:27AM PST on Feb 25, 2015

A poll tax disenfranchises the poor even more than blacks--blacks get hurt mostly because there is still a lot of overlap between poor and black. WAIM (trying to relieve poverty partly by collecting and giving away free used clothing and other second hand goods and partly by helping poor persons pay certain bills, mostly utility bills) also sometimes helps poor people get the state ID card needed to vote.

8:03AM PST on Feb 24, 2015

Thanks so much for sharing!

2:23AM PDT on Aug 28, 2014

thank you

4:46PM PDT on Aug 27, 2014

Thanks for sharing. Signed.

3:57PM PDT on Aug 27, 2014


1:36AM PDT on Aug 27, 2014

Even if only 10% voted! politicians would still have 100% of the power. Politicians are THE problem, self serving inheritors of the royal decree. I would be a fool to vote for someone to rule over me, instead of them being my servants!

9:11PM PDT on Aug 26, 2014

The Republicans just don't play fair. Part of that party is still (mentally) in the 19th C. Nixon played dirty to win his election in '68 and the party hasn't stopped. Everyone needs vote.

7:37PM PDT on Aug 26, 2014

Signed, but it was a waste of my time.

My Representative is a Teabagger, & of course a Republican.

The Republicans are stuck with the onerous collection of crazies that make up the party base.

They know they can jerrymander themselves in safe districts.

But they can't win a fair, National election.

That's why they're frantically trying to tip the scales, by disenfranchising those they have alienated.

5:42PM PDT on Aug 26, 2014

Signed related petition!

5:03PM PDT on Aug 26, 2014

We need a new govt.This one is tyranical.

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