poll tax

poll tax


: a tax that each adult has to pay in order to vote in an election

Full Definition of POLL TAX

:  a tax of a fixed amount per person levied on adults and often linked to the right to vote

First Known Use of POLL TAX


poll tax

noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Tax of a uniform amount levied on each individual. The most famous British poll tax was the one levied in 1380, a main cause of the 1381 Peasants' Revolt. In the U.S., poll taxes were used as a voting prerequisite in the southern states; when payment was made a prerequisite to voting, impoverished blacks (and often poor whites) were effectively denied the vote. In 1966 the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that states could not levy a poll tax as a prerequisite for voting in state and local elections.


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