Washington, D.C.(JFK+50) On March 22, 1963, President John F. Kennedy sent a telegram to the governors of states which had not yet ratified the proposed 24th Amendment* to the Constitution of the United States which prohibits the collection of poll taxes.
JFK emphasized the importance of ratification of the amendment to insure a fair election in 1964. The President said...
"Every effort should be made to broaden the base of citizen participation."
The poll tax had just about disappeared when the 15th Amendment**to the Constitution was ratified. Afterwards, all states that had been a part of the Old Confederacy instituted restrictions on voting including literacy tests and poll taxes.
*24th Amendment (1964) "The right of citizens of the United States to vote...shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or any State by reason of failure to pay poll tax or other tax." The Amendment had passed Congress on Aug 27, 1962 and was ratified on Jan 23, 1964.
*15th Amendment (1870) "The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of race, color or previous condition of servitude."
"The Fifteenth Amendment", by Richard H. Pildes and Bradley A. Smith, www.constitutioncenter.org/
"The Twenty-Fourth Amendment", by Deborah N. Archer and Derek T. Muller, www.constitutioncenter.org/