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

For instance, when New Hampshire Senator Jeanne Shaheen asked presidential candidates to sign a petition calling on New Hampshire to repeal a student poll tax, 16 candidates did so. Adam Eichen, The New Republic, "After 48 Years, Democrats Still Haven’t Gotten the Memo," 23 July 2019 This was still the Virginia of the poll tax and of segregated schools. Drew Gilpin Faust, The Atlantic, "Race, History, and Memories of a Virginia Girlhood," 18 July 2019 The right to register to vote without literacy tests, poll taxes and other barriers were key goals of the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s. Lee Roop | Lroop@al.com, al.com, "Alabama’s six constitutions make historic trip to free in-state showing," 26 June 2019 That process echoes mechanisms like poll taxes that were used to racially curate voter rolls in the Deep South. Jelani Cobb, The New Yorker, "The Supreme Court Just Legitimized a Cornerstone Element of Voter Suppression," 3 July 2019 Instead of celebrating this racial progress, Democrats play the race card by claiming the GOP wants to restore poll taxes and literacy tests. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "Majority Preservation Act," 7 Jan. 2019 Suppression tactics included gerrymandering districts, shutting down polling locations, purging voters from the rolls, and creating poll taxes in the form of voter ID laws. Bree Newsome, SELF, "The 2018 Midterm Elections Proved That Change Must Happen from the Ground Up," 15 Nov. 2018 The same attitudes that rationalized blackface rationalized poll taxes, lynchings, and segregation — issues that have shaped black life in America to this day. P.r. Lockhart, Vox, "Megyn Kelly’s initial defense of blackface ignored the practice’s deeply racist history," 24 Oct. 2018 In 1846, during his time at Walden Pond, Thoreau spent the night in jail for refusing to pay his poll tax, in opposition to slavery and the Mexican-American War. Kelly Scott Franklin, WSJ, "‘The Road to Walden’ Review: Peripatetic Ponderings," 12 July 2018

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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Statistics for poll tax

Last Updated

15 Aug 2019

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Time Traveler for poll tax

The first known use of poll tax was in 1692

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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

More from Merriam-Webster on poll tax

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with poll tax

Britannica English: Translation of poll tax for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about poll tax

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