Poll Tax

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Poll Tax

A specified sum of money levied upon each person who votes.

Poll taxes, as a prerequisite to voting in federal elections, are prohibited by the Twenty-Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and have been held unconstitutional with respect to state elections.

References in periodicals archive ?
The Poll Tax and Margaret Thatcher disappeared in perfect unison, never to return.
However Chancellor Nigel Lawson, an early opponent of the poll tax, warned that dropping the transitional arrangements - as eventually happened - would leave them exposed to "unacceptable political risks".
Labour peer Lord Foulkes, who was an MP in Scotland when the levy was introduced, said of the revelations: "Ultimately, Thatcher was toppled as a result of the Poll Tax and justice was served.
Stripped of its antilabor provisions, the poll tax continued more than 35 years, probably as a local option.
It wasn't perfect but hey, anything had to be better than the poll tax.
It shows him as a nerdy young Tory, then later defending the Poll Tax, combined with footage of the riots.
Of course, the literacy test resembles Rosetta Meeks' 16-page form, and the poll tax isn't a great deal different from Florida's requirement that felons pay off money owed to the state--potentially including the cost of a public defender provided them because of their poverty.
Toward the end of the New Deal, many of Sullivan's progressives launched a campaign to abolish the poll tax.
In the backsliding Alabama, from the adoption of the revanchist 1905 state Constitution to the 1960s, one of the largest hurdles faced by Blacks and poor whites was the poll tax.
Thus, the poll tax debacle was often characterized by such expressions as "absolute power corrupting absolutely," "the harder they fall" (from the boxing world), and "autocracy tempered by riot," recollecting politics in post-Waterloo England.
A staple of middle-class conversation in London these days is the astonishing discrepancy between the classes, and the ways in which this discrepancy has been intensified by the poll tax.