Not Ratifying the 24th Amendment & Being Named in The Voting Rights Act- These Two Things Seem To Go Together

by Courtney C Horne @FireezDragon

The 24th Amendment to the US Constitution prohibits poll taxes- which had been easy way to disenfranchise poor and especially minority voters. It met it’s ratification requirement of 38 states in 1964.

Four States ratified later on: Virginia in 1977, North Carolina in 1989, Alabama in 2002, and Texas in 2009.

Mississippi voted specifically to reject the amendment in 1962.

Arizona, Arkansas, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma, South Carolina, and Wyoming have all still not ratified the amendment.

Looking at the voting rights act, which is now facing a supreme court challenge, it seems that most of the states heavily effected by pre-clearance requirements (ones where either the whole state or a huge amount of the counties) are also states that either ratified the 24th late, rejected it entirely or still haven’t ratified it.

Can we really believe that Mississippi rejected getting rid of poll taxes, never took any action to change that, and yet has no tendency to engage in behavior that disenfranchises voters?

If states want to claim they have changed their disenfranchising ways, maybe they could start by all ratifying the 24th amendment.

Or they could try their hand with a court where one of the justices had the gall to call the voting rights act a racial entitlement.

My preference? I think that all the states should have to seek approval for major changes to the way they conduct voting, not just the ones on the voting right act’s list. States that aren’t on the pre-approval list have been illustrating how good they are at disenfranchising the poor.