Poster, Have You Paid That Poll Tax?
A reminder to women to pay the poll tax
All Texas voters were required to pay a poll tax, usually $1.50, before they could vote. This was a requirement put in place by the legislature in 1902 to keep minority groups from voting. It was also a barrier for women who had little access to their own money. Women were exempt from paying the poll tax in the July 1918 primary election (the first where they were elibgible to vote), but required to pay the tax thereafter.
Poll taxes were mandatory in Texas for several more decades. In 1964 the federal government made poll taxes illegal in federal elections. A decision followed by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1966 making poll taxes illegal in state elections as well. Texas complied with the ruling in 1966 and ended its use of poll taxes.
Courtesy Jane Y. McCallum Papers, Austin History Center, Austin Public Library
Time Period: 1866 - 1936
Exhibit: Sister Suffragists
This artifact is currently on view.