Poll Taxes Continue To Deter Voting

Women at Black Lives Matter demonstration
Via Pixabay
Leslie Taylor-Grover
March 28, 2021

Evelyn Butts was a fighter who understood the power of numbers. First, she organized our people to get a middle school built so that Black children wouldn’t be mistreated in racist schools. But her battles against the system of white supremacy grew bigger and bigger – until the ultimate happened.

She helped organize a class action lawsuit and sued her state government to take poll taxes off the books! Poll taxes meant that our people had to PAY to VOTE! Butts won her lawsuit, but something else stood in the way.

It wasn’t until 2020 that poll taxes were FINALLY abolished in many states! Racists are undeterred, though. They’re STILL trying to switch up the game to keep us from exercising our rights, through unnecessary voting requirements that mostly affect our people. How can we fight back?

We fight with numbers, just as Butts did. States are also kicking tens of thousands of Black people off the voter rolls. Registering to vote, double-checking your registration status, and encouraging others to do the same are key.

As Butts’ work showed, there is power in our numbers. We must challenge any system that attempts to silence or limit our power in the political process. The work continues, and we will keep winning!

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