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 a Venezuelan passport costs more than $300, a price that amounts to a poll tax because few migrants can afford them. John Otis, NPR, 16 Apr. 2024 The wholesale purchase of poll tax receipts by others not in the purchaser's immediate family was widespread, and illegally obtained poll tax receipts were widely distributed by candidates to their supporters. Arkansas Online, 6 Nov. 2022 In a state where Republicans pass tougher and tougher voting restrictions every legislative session, the Alabama Democratic Party has responded by enacting its own sort of poll tax. Kyle Whitmire, al, 6 May 2023 And paid two dollars for his poll tax. CBS News, 5 May 2021 In 1924, the doctor gamely paid his poll tax. Lee Drutman, Washington Post, 19 Aug. 2022 According to Erin Geiger-Smith, author of the new book Thank You for Voting, those seeking to suppress the vote used to rely on explicitly discriminatory laws, such as ones requiring voters to pay a poll tax or others that made Native Americans ineligible to vote. Jeff John Roberts, Fortune, 3 Nov. 2020 But in each of these cases, the men who took over had been long-serving and high-ranking members of their predecessors’ administrations, and (with the exception of Major’s abandonment of the highly unpopular poll tax) largely continued the policy program on which their predecessor had been elected. Laura Beers, CNN, 24 Oct. 2022 The violence erupted after Mose Norman, a citrus farmer who had helped July Perry register fellow Blacks and women to vote, was twice turned away from his election precinct by poll workers for failing to pay a poll tax, later outlawed by the 24th Amendment. Stephen Hudak, orlandosentinel.com, 7 Aug. 2020

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'poll tax.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1692, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of poll tax was in 1692

Dictionary Entries Near poll tax

Cite this Entry

“Poll tax.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/poll%20tax. Accessed 23 Jun. 2024.

Kids Definition

poll tax

: a tax of a fixed amount per adult person that is often linked to the right to vote

Legal Definition

poll tax

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

More from Merriam-Webster on poll tax

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