These Requirements May Keep Black Voters From The Polls

Silhouette of hand putting ballot in box
Leslie Taylor-Grover
March 28, 2021

Supposedly, these racist laws were abolished! But racism always finds a sneaky way to circumvent the law when it comes to our rights. Here are ways we’re still paying the price.

Poll taxes are supposed to be illegal, but there are still ways our people are being forced to pay to vote.

#1: Unpaid court fees and fines – Florida recently upheld a law that keeps the formerly incarcerated from voting unless fees and fines are paid in full. Guess who’s mostly affected? Us.

#2: Notarized signatures – Voters who opt to mail in their ballots in Alabama must have their signatures authorized by a notary public. This isn’t free!

#3 Postage – The price of a stamp may not seem like a lot of money, but for some it can be that one extra reason not to vote. Thus far, Georgia and Ohio both continue to make voters pay postage on mail-in ballots.

#4: Parole/Probation – While the formerly incarcerated aren’t explicitly prohibited from voting, parole and probation are almost always tied to fees or other payments. States such as Mississippi and New Mexico require completion of parole before voting can happen.

Our right to vote has been under attack since enslavement was over. These requirements may not be direct poll taxes, but they still make it more difficult for our people to vote – and that’s on purpose!  We must fight to abolish ANY law or policy that seeks to take away our right. Voting should be EASY and FREE!

We have a quick favor to ask:

PushBlack is a nonprofit dedicated to raising up Black voices. We are a small team but we have an outsized impact:

  • We reach tens of millions of people with our BLACK NEWS & HISTORY STORIES every year.
  • We fight for CRIMINAL JUSTICE REFORM to protect our community.
  • We run VOTING CAMPAIGNS that reach over 10 million African-Americans across the country.

And as a nonprofit, we rely on small donations from subscribers like you.

With as little as $5 a month, you can help PushBlack raise up Black voices. It only takes a minute, so will you please ?

Share This Article: