Twenty-fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution

Twenty-fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution

Amendment XXIV (the Twenty-fourth Amendment) of the United States Constitution prohibits both Congress and the states from conditioning the right to vote in federal elections on payment of a poll tax or other types of tax. The amendment was proposed by Congress to the states on August 27, 1962 and was ratified by the states on January 23, 1964.

Poll taxes had been enacted in eleven Southern states after Reconstruction as a measure to prevent African Americans from voting, and had been held to be unconstitutional by the United States Supreme Court. At the time of this amendment's passage, only five states still retained a poll tax: Virginia, Alabama, Texas, Arkansas, and Mississippi. However, it wasn't until the U.S. Supreme Court ruled 6-3 in "Harper v. Virginia Board of Elections" (1966) that all state poll taxes (for both state and federal elections) were officially declared unconstitutional, because they violated the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.


cquote|"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."

Proposal and ratification

Congress proposed the Twenty-fourth Amendment on August 27, 1962. [cite web|title=Ratification of Constitutional Amendments| accessmonthday = Oct 11|accessyear=2008|last=Mount|first=Steve|year=2007|month=Jan] The following states ratified the amendment:
# Illinois (November 14, 1962)
# New Jersey (December 3, 1962)
# Oregon (January 25, 1963)
# Montana (January 28, 1963)
# West Virginia (February 1, 1963)
# New York (February 4, 1963)
# Maryland (February 6, 1963)
# California (February 7, 1963)
# Alaska (February 11, 1963)
# Rhode Island (February 14, 1963)
# Indiana (February 19, 1963)
# Utah (February 20, 1963)
# Michigan (February 20, 1963)
# Colorado (February 21, 1963)
# Ohio (February 27, 1963)
# Minnesota (February 27, 1963)
# New Mexico (March 5, 1963)
# Hawaii (March 6, 1963)
# North Dakota (March 7, 1963)
# Idaho (March 8, 1963)
# Washington (March 14, 1963)
# Vermont (March 15, 1963)
# Nevada (March 19, 1963)
# Connecticut (March 20, 1963)
# Tennessee (March 21, 1963)
# Pennsylvania (March 25, 1963)
# Wisconsin (March 26, 1963)
# Kansas (March 28, 1963)
# Massachusetts (March 28, 1963)
# Nebraska (April 4, 1963)
# Florida (April 18, 1963)
# Iowa (April 24, 1963)
# Delaware (May 1, 1963)
# Missouri (May 13, 1963)
# New Hampshire (June 12, 1963)
# Kentucky (June 27, 1963)
# Maine (January 16, 1964)
# South Dakota (January 23, 1964)Ratification was completed on January 23, 1964. The amendment was subsequently ratified by the following states:
# Virginia (February 25, 1977)
# North Carolina (May 3, 1989)
# Alabama (2002)This amendment was rejected by the following state:
# Mississippi (December 20, 1962)


External links

* [ National Archives: 24th Amendment]
* [ CRS Annotated Constitution: 24th Amendment]

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