INSTITUTE INDEX: The fight to restore the Voting Rights Act

Reps. James Sensenbrenner, a Wisconsin Republican (on the left) and John Conyers, a Michigan Democrat, have introduced a bill to restore a key section of the Voting Rights Act struck down by the Supreme Court.

Date on which the landmark Voting Rights Act was introduced in Congress, a little over a week after a national television audience watched state troopers, sheriff's officers and their posse beat and tear-gas peaceful civil rights protesters in Selma, Alabama: 3/17/1965

Number of months later that President Lyndon Johnson signed the VRA into law: almost 5

Percent of African-American Mississippi residents who were registered to vote in 1965: 6.7

In 1967: 59.8

In 2012: 90.2

Date on which the U.S. Supreme Court in the Alabama case Shelby County v. Holder effectively struck down VRA's Section 5, which required places with a history of voting discrimination to get proposed election changes approved by the Department of Justice: 6/25/2013

At the time of the Shelby decision, number of states that were covered in whole or in part by Section 5: 15

Number of those covered states that are in the South: 9

In the 15 years before Section 5 was overturned, number of laws blocked by its administrative requirements: 86

Number blocked in just the 18 months leading up to the Shelby ruling: at least 13

Over one recent six-year period, number of proposed voting changes that were withdrawn or changed after the DOJ requested more information about their potentially discriminatory effects: 262

Number of days Texas officials waited after the Shelby ruling to announce that they would implement that state's strict photo ID law, previously blocked by Section 5 because of its discriminatory racial impact: 0

Number of registered Texas voters without proper photo ID, according to early assessments: 600,000 to 800,000

Number of those voters who are Latino: over 300,000

In 2010, number of states where voters had to have a photo ID to cast a ballot: 2

Number of states that have imposed photo ID requirements since then: 16

Of those 16 states, number in the South: 8

Date on which two members of the current Congress, a Republican and a Democrat, introduced a House bill to restore the VRA's Section 5 by requiring federal preclearance of election changes for jurisdictions found to have violated voting rights in the last 15 years: 2/11/2015

Number of cosponsors it has so far: 48

Of those cosponsors, number who represent districts in the South: 10

Of those 10 Southern cosponsors, number who are Republicans: 1

Percent chance the bill currently has of being enacted, according to the government transparency website 4

Number of people so far who have signed an ACLU petition calling on Congress to pass the VRA restoration bill: almost 67,000

(Click on figure to go to source.)