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Florida Dwight Collection

Picture Portrait of Florida Dwight
Florida Dwight, 1895-1977

Poll Tax Receipts

A poll or head tax is one imposed on individuals by state and local governments as a pre-condition to exercise the right to vote. This was especially true in the South during and after Reconstruction where poll taxes were asociated with racial and class restrictions and used as a means of circumventing the 14th Amendment. This form of taxation gradually fell out of favor by the mid-20th century, but it was not until the adoption of the 24th Amendment in 1964 that poll taxes were made illegal as a prerequisite for voting in federal elections. The 1966 Supreme Court case Harper verses Virginia Board of Elections extended that same prohibition to all elections.

Reproduced below are actual receipts for poll taxes paid by Mrs. Dwight in the 1930s.

Click on the image for a larger version

Image of a Poll Tax Receipt
Poll Tax Receipt, 1932
Image of a Poll Tax Receipt
Poll Tax Receipt, 1933

last updated 13 August 2006 clb