Twenty-fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution

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Amendment XXIV (the Twenty-fourth Amendment) of the United States Constitution prevents the right to vote in federal elections from being abridged due to failure to pay a poll tax or other tax. Thirteen years after it was proposed and nearly two years after the measure had been passed by the United States Senate 77-16, the 24th Amendment was ratified on January 23, 1964.

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Text

The text of the 24th Amendment reads as follows:

Section 1. The right of citizens of the United States to vote in any primary or other election for President or Vice President, for electors for President or Vice President, or for Senator or Representative in Congress, shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or any State by reason of failure to pay any poll tax or other tax. Section 2. Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

History

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Poll taxes had been enacted in eleven Southern states after Reconstruction as a measure to prevent poor black people from voting. At the time of this amendment's passage, only five states still retained a poll tax.

Analysis

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Makes poll taxes and other such tools used to prevent African-Americans from voting illegal.

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