Hillary Clinton made a speech a week or so ago.
It was her first major “policy speech” since leaving her post as secretary of state.
Basically, she used her bully pulpit in front of the American Bar Association to decry as racists a whole bunch of recently passed election laws.
She said things like: “In 2013, so far, more than 80 bills restricting voting rights have been introduced in 31 states.” and that the laws “disproportionately impact African-Americans, Latino and young voters.”
She also skewered the U.S. Supreme Court who she said “struck at the heart” of the Voting Act with a recent ruling.
(The Supreme Court got rid of a portion of the Voting Rights Act that made some states meet higher legal burdens than others when enacting voting laws. The weird thing was that the states that were charged with meeting  the higher burdens in many cases had higher percentages of minority voters anyway.)
Most of what Hillary is talking about is the fact that lots of states have enacted what are called voter ID laws. That means that you must show some form of ID before you can vote.
A total of 33 states so far have voter ID laws.
The requirements vary from state to state.
In what are called “strict” states, you can’t vote without an ID. If you don’t have an ID, you get a provisional ballot. The ballot is cast when you come back with an ID. If you don’t come back, the ballot isn’t cast.
In “non-strict” states, voters are asked to show photo ID, but can still vote without one. But they have to sign an affidavit affirming their identity or provide a signature to compare to voter registration rolls.
Beyond that, there are “photo” and “non-photo” ID states. That’s pretty self-explanatory. The state either requires photo ID or various non-photo IDs.
All the states that have passed voter ID laws also have included a way for any resident to get a state photo ID for free.
Even so, the ululations of the left are deafening on this issue. They claim that all this asking for IDs at the voting booth disenfranchises legions of minority voters.
(Never mind the fact that you have to have an ID to do virtually anything else of even moderate significance in today’s America.)
But, we can check this out, can’t we? I mean, there are 33 states that have these laws. Hasn’t somebody looked into this?
Of course they have.
It’s just that people like Hillary tend to ignore facts that dull their arguments.
Take Indiana.
Indiana is a “strict” “photo ID” state. That’s the worst, most repressive, most disenfranchising kind, if you’re somebody like Hillary.
Back in 2007, a couple of years after Indiana passed its voter ID law, a guy named Jeffrey Milyo did a study, “The Effects of Photographic Identification on Voter Turnout in Indiana: A County-Level Analysis.”
Here’s what he found:
I examined the change in voter turnout across Indiana counties before and after the implementation of photo ID requirements. Overall, statewide turnout increased by about two percentage points after photo ID; further, there is no consistent evidence that counties that have higher percentages of minority, poor, elderly or less-educated population suffer any reduction in voter turnout relative to other counties. In fact, the estimated effect of photo ID on turnout is positive for counties with a greater percentage of minorities or families in poverty. The only consistent and frequently statistically significant impact of photo ID in Indiana is to increase voter turnout in counties with a greater percentage of Democrats relative to other counties. These findings run counter to some recent and prominent concerns that have been raised about voter identification reforms; however, these results are consistent with both existing theory on voter behavior and the most recent and reliable empirical evidence on the effects of voter identification requirements on turnout.
(By the way, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld Indiana’s voter ID law in 2008.)
But what about elsewhere?
The U.S. Census Bureau released a study in May 2013, "The Diversifying Electorate — Voting Rates by Race and Hispanic Origin in 2012 (and Other Recent Elections)."
Surely, Hillary had access to this study.
The study, based on 2012 data, shows that  minority voter turnout nationwide has been on the rise – big time. Blacks had a voter turnout rate of 53 percent in 1996. But black turnout has risen in each of the last four presidential elections.
The study also shows that black turnout as a share of all eligible voters in 2012 exceeded that of white voters – 66.2 percent to 64.1 percent.
Five million more blacks voted in 2012 (17.8 million) than 2000 (12.9 million). Also in 2012, blacks made up 12.5 percent of the eligible electorate but accounted for 13.4 percent of voters, outpacing their share of the eligible black voting age population
Oh, and back to Indiana, where we have the one of the most strict, heinous voter ID laws in the country, remember? Black turnout percentage exceeded white turnout percentage in 2012.
Precisely the same thing happened in Georgia and Tennessee, where they also have the awful “strict” laws like Indiana.
Farm from being disenfranchised, minority voters are surging to the polls.
If voter ID laws are suppressing the minority vote, there’s little evidence of it.
Of course, that doesn’t stop people like Hillary from blathering on about it, now does it?