IMPLICIT POLL TAX - Texas and Louisiana are among twenty states that have laws implicitly creating a modern-day poll tax, according to a study released Thursday.
The Campaign Legal Center and Georgetown Law’s Civil Rights Clinic says these 20 states at least indirectly consider the payment of fines and fees before someone may vote. That’s because the states require completion of parole and/or probation before a person gets their voting rights reinstated.
Danielle Lang, with the Campaign Legal Center, says that can be an issue because many times completion can be tied to whether someone pays off their legal debt.
Lang explains “While this system looks wealth neutral on its face it actually has a very discriminatory impact on the poor and on black and brown people in this country.”
According to the study, eight states explicitly require that former felons pay off fines and fees before getting their right to vote back. Arkansas is among those states.