A poll or head tax is one imposed equally on all adults at the time of voting and is not affected by property ownership or income. The poll tax was used in the South during and after Reconstruction as a means of circumventing the 14th Amendment and denying civil rights to blacks.
This form of taxation gradually fell out of favor in the South in the mid-20th century, but it was not until the adoption of the 24th Amendment that poll taxes were made illegal as a prerequisite for voting in federal elections. That same prohibition was later extended to all elections.
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