Thursday, May 14, 2009

Texas to Ratify 24th Amendment?

State Rep Alma Allen is trying, for the third consecutive legislative session to get Texas to ratify the 24th Amendment to the US Constitution.

Texas is one of 9 other states that have yet to ratify that amendment, an amendment pushed by then-President Lyndon Johnson. An amendment that outlawed poll taxes.

1. The right of citizens of the United States to vote in any primary or other election for President or Vice President, for electors for President or Vice President, or for Senator or Representative in Congress, shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or any State by reason of failure to pay any poll tax or other tax.

2. The Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

Only 5 states had poll taxes when the amendment became part of the Constitution. Texas was one of them.

According to Alma Allen, who paid her first poll tax when she was 21 years old, Texas’ tax was $1.50, which would be about $11 in 2009 dollars.

Now the reasons Allen wants to get this vote are all symbolic ones.

“It’s the principle,” Allen said.

I find it ironic that Allen is getting 100% in the House at a time when it is again considering passing what amounts to a poll tax in the Voter ID Bill, SB 362.

A bill that requires that voters identify themselves with a photo ID.

A photo ID that they have to pay a fee for.

Obviously there are a bunch of state reps in Austin who just don’t see it that way.

Or maybe they do, and by voting for ratification they are simply saying that they were AGAINST a poll tax before they were FOR it.


Anonymous said...

Well, help me understand. If Allen is successful in getting Texas to finally ratify the 24th Amendment, does that then, automatically make the voter ID bill null and void? Or can they still vote to enforce the Voter ID Bill after having ratified the 24th Amendment? It seems to me, if the 24th Amendment is ratified, then the Voter ID Bill is stopped cold in its tracks. And, so if that is the case, isn't Allen being astute to backdoor the Voter ID Bill by her continuance to get he the 24th Amendment ratified?

Again, help me understand if I am correct or not in my

Anonymous said...

Explain this to me---how does having to prove you are the voter in question limit your right to vote----On the otherhand I believe proving who you are ensures the integrity of the ballot sytem and protects the one person one vote rule thereby protecting the strength of my individual vote

Hal said...

The Voter ID bill has nothing to do with voter identification. The stated target is a false issue. The Voter ID bill has to do with discouraging voters, minorities, the poor, and the elderly, from registering to vote. And then voting for, inevitably given the demographics, Democrats. The Voter ID bill is the last best hope for the Republican Party of Texas. They know it, we know it. The question is, why don't you know it?

And the Voter ID bill is just very simply a rehashed Jim Crow Law. It is a poll tax, nothing more, nothing less. That is why if the Republicans in the state house are successful a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the law will ultimately succeed. Texas, you see, is one of the offending states that the 24th amendment sought to correct, and is a state that the Voting Rights Act specifically targets as a result. This is why what works in Indiana, a state that stayed in the Union, can't work in Texas, a state that didn't.

So much time and money lost for no results. Tragic.

Does that explain things to you?