For the first two-thirds of the 20th century, Texas put as many roadblocks as it could in the way of voting by minorities and the poor.

For the final third of that century - with urging from Congress, President Lyndon B. Johnson, and federal courts - Texas reversed course.

But since Republicans finally wrested complete control of Texas government from the Democrats in 2002, they have worked to make it harder for minorities and the poor and elderly to vote.

Some milestones for voting rights in Texas:

Poll Tax - 1902 - Texas joined several other states in requiring a payment of $1.75 to register to vote. (Adjusted for inflation, that would be more than $42 today.) And, people had to register by Jan. 31 to vote in any elections that calendar year.

Both were aimed at reducing voting by poorer whites, who had developed populist political muscle, and blacks.

Women's Suffrage - 1920 -- In 1918, after anti-suffrage Gov. James Ferguson was impeached, Lt. Gov. William P. Hobby took over. In 1918, Hobby (father of William P. "Bill" Hobby Jr., lieutenant governor from 1973 to 1991), called a March special session, and passed a law to allow women to vote in Texas primary elections.

In 17 days, 386,000 women registered to vote in the July Democratic primary. They supported Hobby's reelection, and also nominated Annie Webb Blanton for State Superintendent of Public Instruction.

At that time in one-party Texas, winning the Democratic primary equaled victory. The November general election was a foregone conclusion. So she became Texas' first woman elected to statewide office.

Meanwhile, the national suffragist movement had gotten Congress to propose amending the U.S. Constitution to give women the vote. The 19th Amendment was submitted to the states for ratification in June of 1919.

Gov. Hobby called a special session for June 23. By June 28, the House and Senate made Texas the ninth state to ratify it. By 1920, women had the right to vote in all elections.

Poll Tax Nixed -- In 1964, the 24th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution outlawed the poll tax in federal elections. Texans in 1963 had voted against having the Legislature vote on ratification.

But 38 other states did, and it became law. Texas finally ratified the amendment in 2009.

Texans kept the poll tax for state elections. But in 1966, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled the poll tax unconstitutional also in state elections, including Texas.

Residency, Registration Eased - 1971 -- Lawmakers shortened the residency requirement and period between registration and voting to 30 days before an election.

Texas also dropped its annual registration requirement, and allowed reregistration by voting.

18-Year-Old Vote - 1971 -- At the height of the Vietnam War, the 26th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution reduced the voting age from 21 to 18. The thinking was, if you were old enough to be drafted to fight, you were old enough to vote.

Vote at College - 1971 -- As Texas prepared to require college students under 21 to vote in their home counties, Texas U.S. District Judge William Wayne Justice ordered that they be allowed to vote where they went to school.

Register by Mail - 1977 -- Texas allowed voter registration by mail, with postage pre-paid by the state.

Motor Voter - 1987 -- The Legislature passed the "Motor Voter" law, allowing voter registration as part of obtaining or renewing a driver's license.

Early Voting -1987 -- The Legislature approved a period of several days before election day, when people could vote, without having to swear they would be out of their home county on election day.

County-wide Voting - More recently, the state took advantage of modern technology by relaxing the requirement that one could only vote in his or her home precinct, enabling county commissioners to allow voting at any polling place within the county.

Voter ID Law - And then, hurdles return. After the Republican takeover, the Legislature in 2011 passed Senate Bill 14, requiring a picture ID to vote - supposedly to prevent voter fraud.

Opponents say it purposely made voting tougher and more confusing for minorities, the poor and elderly.

So far, a federal district judge, and now an appellate court, have agreed with the plaintiffs.

So did a study by Rice University and the University of Houston of the 23rd Congressional District along the Texas-Mexico border - the only "swing" Texas district, whose representative is decided in the general election, rather than a primary.

The researchers analyzed 400 registered voters who didn't vote in 2014, the first election in which Voter ID was enforced. Most had the necessary ID, but a significant percentage said they stayed home because they were confused or discouraged by the ID law.

It looks like the federal courts will stymie Republican efforts to turn back the voting clock, unless the U.S. Supreme Court disagrees.