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You Say “Voter ID”; I say “Poll Tax”…

July 26, 2012

Nice catch by Josh Marshall and TPM reader ZH:

“…when (Attorney General Eric) Holder calls voter ID laws a “poll tax” he’s not engaging in hyperbole at all. For the subset of citizens who have no use for a state-issued ID other than voting, it is basically equivalent to typical poll taxes in terms of the financial burden of becoming qualified to vote. For many, it’s actually a somewhat larger burden.”

ZH points out that mid-20th century poll taxes (later made unconstitutional by the 24th amendment and by the Supreme Court’s decision in Harper v. Virginia Board of Elections) amounted to roughly $9 – $18 in today’s economy.  Point being that the Republican argument that new voter ID laws only impose a minimal cost on voters who don’t currently have a government-issued photo ID doesn’t hold water.  Poll taxes imposed a minimal cost in their day too.

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From → History, Politics

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