Study Guide

Constitution - 24th Amendment

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24th Amendment

Passed by Congress: 27 August 1962
Ratified: 23 January 1964

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 poll tax or other tax.

Section 2. The Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

One measure used by Jim Crow-era southern states to deny the right to vote to blacks was a poll tax, a special fee charged for the right to vote. The Twenty-fourth Amendment, passed at the height of the civil rights movement, banned all such poll taxes. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the 38 states that ratified the amendment were nearly all located in the North and West; of the states of the old Confederacy, only Florida, Tennessee, and Missouri were among the 38 who helped it take effect. The state legislatures of Virginia, North Carolina, and Alabama all ratified the amendment decades later, in a symbolic gesture. Six other states of the Deep South still haven't ratified it today.

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