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Does the White Working Class Really Vote Against Its Own Interests? - POLITICO Magazine
"The vast majority of farmers, black and white, were tenants or sharecroppers, and repressive poll taxes disenfranchised not just black men and women, but also poor white people. Designed by wealthy plantation owners and industrialists, the poll tax was expressly a class measure, meant to preserve the region’s prevailing low-tax, low-wage, low-service economy. It was more ingenious and insidious than many people today realize. In Mississippi and Virginia, it was cumulative for two years; if a tenant farmer or textile worker couldn’t pay in any given year, not only did he miss an election cycle, he had to pay a full two years’ tax to restore his voting rights. In Georgia, the poll tax was cumulative from the time a voter turned 21 years old—meaning, if one missed 10 years, he or she would have to pay a decade’s worth of back taxes before regaining the right to vote. In Texas, the tax was due on February 1, in the winter off-season, when farmers were habitually strapped for cash. It was, as one Southern liberal observed at the time, “like buying a ticket to a show nine months ahead of time, and before you know who’s playing, or really what the thing is all about.”"

The franchise
notes 
december 2017 by keithpeter
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