May 05, 2009
The poll tax

Sometimes it's hard to remember what century we're in.

Rep. Alma Allen's joint resolution to post-ratify the 24th amendment to the U.S. Constitution passed the House on second reading this afternoon. The 24th amendment is the one prohibiting states from levying a poll tax, or a tax on voting, which was used to keep minorities, women and low-income folks away from the polls.

When the 24th amendment was ratified in 1964, Texas was one of just five states that still levied a poll tax, and one of 12 states that didn't ratify the amendment. Since then, Virgina, North Carolina and Alabama have post-ratified the amendment.

"It's been a long time coming but it's here today," Allen said.

The measure is HJR39, which passed unanimously. Of course, a good number of those folks who voted to finally post-ratify the amendment that outlawed that poll tax are eagerly hoping for the chance to vote for its modern variant. Not that any of them would acknowledge the irony, of course. Ah, well, I suppose we should just celebrate the moment while we can.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on May 05, 2009 to That's our Lege
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