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Thu, 01.23.1964

24th Amendment passed

*On this date in 1964 the twenty-fourth amendment to the constitution was passed.

Since the legal end to American slavery, Blacks in America had been denied the right to vote in a number of different ways. Some measures were deceitful, many others were life threatening. This confirmation ensured the Abolition of the Poll Tax Qualification in Federal Elections.

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. Ratification of the Twenty-fourth Amendment marked the culmination of an endeavor begun in Congress in 1939 to effect elimination of the poll tax as a qualification for voting in federal elections.

Property qualifications extend back to colonial days, but the poll tax itself as a qualification was instituted in eleven States of the South following the end of Reconstruction, although at the time of the ratification of this Amendment only five States still retained it.

Congress viewed the qualification as ''an obstacle to the proper exercise of a citizen's franchise'' and expected its removal to ''provide a more direct approach to participation by more of the people in their government.''

Reference:
Historic U.S. Cases 1690-1993:
An Encyclopedia New York
Copyright 1992 Garland Publishing, New York
ISBN 0-8240-4430-4

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