Lyndon B. Johnson photo

Statement by the President Announcing the Adoption of the 24th Amendment to the Constitution

January 23, 1964

TODAY, as they have always done throughout the long and rewarding history of this country, the people of the United States made known their views.

The abolishment of the poll tax as a condition to voting in Federal elections is the forward step of a modern society. It is a verification of people's fights which are rooted so deeply in the mainstream of this Nation's history.

The vote today by the South Dakota Legislature, the 38th State to ratify the 24th amendment, meets the congressional requirement of such action by three-fourths of the States.

As Majority Leader of the Senate, I personally urged the banishment of bars to voting. This triumph, now, of liberty over restriction is a grateful and proud moment for me.

The acceptance of this amendment by the States in so short a time after congressional approval of the resolution introduced and managed by Senator Holland of Florida is gratifying. The tide of a strong national desire to bring about the broadest possible public use of the voting process runs too strong to hold back.

In a free land where men move freely and act freely, the right to vote freely must never be obstructed.

I congratulate Senator Holland, the other Members of the Congress, and the thousands of State legislators whose active efforts have eliminated an unattractive growth on our national countenance.

It is my hope that the enactment of this amendment will encourage more people in every State to use, in greater numbers, the greatest gift for any land of liberty: the right to vote.

Note: See also Item 171.

Lyndon B. Johnson, Statement by the President Announcing the Adoption of the 24th Amendment to the Constitution Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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