TWENTY-FOURTH AMENDMENT Popularly known as the "Anti-Poll Tax Amendment," the Twenty-fourth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States provides that "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." The Amendment was adopted on February 5, 1964.
The poll tax was a device used by southern states to disfranchise black voters. The Twenty-fourth Amendment sounded the death knell for this procedure in federal elections. Two years following the adoption of the amendment, the United States Supreme Court, in Harper v. Virginia Board of Elections (1966), decided that the poll tax was unconstitutional in state elections as well. See also: DISFRANCHISEMENT.