poll tax


Definition of poll tax

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

Examples of poll tax in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web But Texas is not, say, a voter who has wrongly been subjected to a poll tax. Amy Davidson Sorkin, The New Yorker, "The Supreme Court Rejects Texas’s Shameful Lawsuit, But There Has to Be a Reckoning," 12 Dec. 2020 In the morning the negro who started the riot appeared at the polls and was refused a vote because of non-payment of poll tax. Roger Simmons, orlandosentinel.com, "Ocoee Massacre: How Orlando’s newspapers reported the death, destruction - from only one point of view," 29 Oct. 2020 Determined to bolster his civil-rights credentials, Kennedy fought a doomed effort for an anti-poll tax amendment to the 1965 Voting Rights Act against the strategic designs of now-President Lyndon Johnson and other backers of the legislation. Edward Kosner, WSJ, "‘Catching the Wind’ Review: The Liberal Lion in Full," 23 Oct. 2020 The suppression of Black votes in Florida has taken many forms: horrific acts of violence, overt intimidation, and veiled legal, financial and educational hurdles, such as poll tax laws. Desiree Stennett, orlandosentinel.com, "Voter suppression was spark that ignited Ocoee Massacre. A century later, Florida’s Black voters are still facing obstacles," 22 Oct. 2020 Critics called that a poll tax, but the U.S. 11th District Court of Appeals recently sided with the state, overturning a lower court ruling. Terry Spencer, Star Tribune, "Florida felon purge would be too late for this election," 16 Oct. 2020 The law, Chief Judge William Pryor wrote in the majority opinion, doesn't constitute a poll tax. Christina Maxouris, CNN, "More than 5 million people with felony convictions can't vote in this year's election, advocacy group finds," 15 Oct. 2020 Earlier this month, the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals overturned a lower court's ruling that the requirement that Floridians with past felony convictions pay all legal obligations to be eligible to vote was tantamount to a poll tax. Mike Brest, Washington Examiner, "Bloomberg raises more than $16M to help Florida felons restore voting rights," 22 Sep. 2020 Indeed, in May, Judge Robert L. Hinkle of the United States District Court in Tallahassee ruled that the Legislature’s provisions amounted to an unconstitutional poll tax. Michael Wines, New York Times, "How Republicans Undermined Ex-Felon Voting Rights in Florida," 17 Sep. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'poll tax.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of poll tax

1692, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for poll tax

Time Traveler

The first known use of poll tax was in 1692

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Statistics for poll tax

Last Updated

18 Dec 2020

Cite this Entry

“Poll tax.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/poll%20tax. Accessed 19 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for poll tax

poll tax


English Language Learners Definition of poll tax

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

poll tax

\ ˈpōl- \

Legal Definition of poll tax

: a tax of a fixed amount per person levied on adults

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More from Merriam-Webster on poll tax

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for poll tax

Britannica English: Translation of poll tax for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about poll tax

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