INSTITUTE INDEX: The ongoing fight to restore the Voting Rights Act
Date on which America's Journey for Justice, a voting rights march that began in Selma, Alabama on Aug. 1, reached Washington, D.C., finishing at the steps of the Lincoln Memorial: 9/16/2015
Miles the marchers covered, with NAACP President Cornell William Brooks calling it a test of their "constitutional and moral character": nearly 1,000
Year in which the U.S. Supreme Court's Shelby v. Holder decision effectively gutted the Voting Rights Act, leading to the passage of restrictive voting laws in Southern states, which the marchers were protesting: 2013
Age of Rosanell Eaton, who attended a rally for the marchers in North Carolina, the state that passed the nation's most restrictive new voting law following the Shelby decision: 94
Year in which Eaton — who is African-American and a plaintiff in a federal lawsuit over the state's new voting law — attempted to register to vote only to be told she had to recite the preamble to the U.S. Constitution from memory, which she did perfectly: 1939
Estimated number of citizens Eaton, a longtime civil rights activist, has registered to vote: 4,000
Miles of the march covered by a 68-year-old Colorado resident and Vietnam War veteran who called himself Middle Passage to lift up enslaved Africans, and who headed the march while carrying the NAACP flag: 922
Date on which Passage, who suffered from PTSD and had undergone five open-heart surgeries, suffered a fatal heart attack as the march passed through Virginia: 9/12/2015
At the conclusion of the march, number of activists and advocates who attended a rally calling for passage of the Voting Rights Advancement Act (VRAA), federal legislation that would restore the gutted Voting Rights Act: more than 1,000
Month in which congressional Democrats introduced the VRAA: 6/2015
Of the 35 co-sponsors of the bill in the Senate, number from the South: 2*
Of the 109 co-sponsors in the House, number from the South: 24**
Number of days before the Journey for Justice march concluded that U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska became the first Republican to sign on to the legislation: 7
* Sens. Mark Warner and Tim Kaine.
** Kathy Castor, Lois Frankel, Alcee Hastings, Patrick Murphy, Debbie Wasserman Schultz and Frederica Wilson of Florida; Reps. Hank Johnson and John Lewis of Georgia; John Yarmuth of Kentucky; Cedric Richmond of Louisiana; Alma Adams, G.K. Butterfield and David Price of North Carolina; James Clyburn of South Carolina; Steve Cohen of Tennessee; Joaquin Castro, Lloyd Doggett, Gene Green, Ruben Hinojosa, Eddie Bernice Johnson, Sheila Jackson Lee, Beto O'Rourke and Marc Veasey of Texas; and Donald Beyer of Virginia.
(Click on figure to go to source.)
Sue is the editorial director of Facing South and the Institute for Southern Studies.