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by Roger Chartier:

A poll tax originally meant to be a tax for people to vote who did not own land or have a financial connection with the community.

In a more recent past, the poll tax was a few dollars charged, as a tax to vote.

This effectively kept poor people away from the polls thus they were disenfranchised.

Southern states

Were accused maintaining a poll tax due to blatant racism that was prevalent all over the south. 

The purpose of them maintaining a Poll Tax was to mute the voices of blacks and keep them down and without the power of a voice in politics..

It can be seen clearly because the last states to have a poll tax before the passage of the 24th Amendment were Alabama, Arkansas, Mississippi, Texas and Virginia.gavel -

The 24th Amendment

The 24th Amendment - abolition of the Poll Tax was proposed on August 27 of 1962 and finally ratified by Congress on January 23, 1964

Virginia held out longest with the poll tax.

14th Amendment

In the 1966 Supreme Court case of Harper v. Virginia Board of Elections, it ruled that state and federal taxes were unconstitutional because they violated the 14th amendment (Equal Protection Clause).

"The right of citizens of the United States to vote in any primary or other election for President or Vice President, for electors for President or Vice President, or for Senator or Representative in Congress, shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or any State by reason of failure to pay any poll tax or other tax."