In the Jim Crow South, poll taxes were one tactic commonly used to keep blacks from voting. Towns would arbitrarily impose taxes on people pursuing their right to vote. By 1904, every former Confederate state had put in place some form of poll tax. Coupled with literacy tests, which disqualified black voters for a single wrong answer but did not penalize whites, poll taxes were part of a system of widespread disenfranchisement in the South.
Practices like these prompted civil rights groups to push for the Voting Rights Act, which prevented states from placing onerous burdens on citizens pursuing their right to vote. As part of the act, certain states and jurisdictions that were deemed to have a history of disenfranchising voters must obtain federal approval from
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