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An Overview of the 24th Amendment

24th Amendment

What is the 24th Amendment?

“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. The Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.”

The 24th Amendment Defined

Date Proposed

The 24th Amendment was proposed on August 27th, 1962

Date Passed

The 24th Amendment was passed on January 23rd, 1964

President of the United States

Lyndon B. Johnson was the President of the United States during the ratification of the 24th Amendment

Stipulations of the 24th Amendment

The 24th Amendment expresses the inability of a Federal or State government to deny a citizen of the United States the right to vote as a result of failure to satisfy the required payments of a poll tax

The poll tax was a tax that was prevalent within Southern states; as its name suggests, a poll tax was instituted in order to validate an individual’s right to vote subsequent to the payment of the tax; poll taxes were typically instituted with regard to specific races and socioeconomic classes in lieu of institution based on property and possessions

The 24th Amendment eliminated applicable Grandfather Clauses, legal exploitation, and prejudicial examinations with regard to the classification of the individuals required to satisfy a poll tax payment in order to retain the right to vote

24th Amendment Facts

The poll tax was deemed unconstitutional in 1966; the Supreme Court had deemed that it was in direct violation of the protection clause passed in the 14th Amendment

Virginia, Alabama, Texas, Arkansas, and Mississippi were the only states to enforce a poll tax at the time of the ratification of the 24th Amendment; many lobbyists suspected the poll tax of further disenfranchising African Americans and prospective Northern sympathizers through the enforcement of contingency-based suffrage

John F. Kennedy had expressed an interest in eliminating the poll tax during his presidency

States Ratifying the 24th Amendment

1. Alabama

2. Alaska

3. California

4. Colorado

5. Connecticut

6. Delaware

7. Florida

8. Hawaii

9. Idaho

10. Illinois

11. Indiana

12. Iowa

13. Kansas

14. Kentucky

15. Maine

16. Maryland

17. Massachusetts

18. Michigan

19. Minnesota

20. Missouri

21. Montana

22. Nebraska

23. Nevada

24. New Hampshire

25. New Jersey

26. New Mexico

27. New York

28. North Carolina

29. North Dakota

30. Ohio

31. Oregon

32. Pennsylvania

33. Rhode Island

34. South Dakota

35. Tennessee

36. Texas

37. Utah

38. Vermont

39. Virginia

40. Washington

41. West Virginia

42. Wisconsin

States Not Participatory in the Ratification of the 24th Amendment

1. Arizona

2. Arkansas

3. Georgia

4. Louisiana

5. Mississippi

6. Oklahoma

7. South Carolina

8. Wyoming

Court Cases Associated with the 24th Amendment

Breedlove v. Suttles (1937) – this court case validated the legality of the poll tax, expressing that individual states were permitted to regulate the suffrage policies within their respective jurisdiction

Harper v. Virginia Board of elections (1966) – this court case overturned an individual state’s ability to regulate suffrage policies; as a result of this decision, the poll tax was deemed to be unconstitutional

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