On Thursday, Hillary Clinton waded into the populist fight against voter ID laws and other state moves to prevent the all-too-common voter fraud that has plagued elections for decades by calling for automatic voter registration at 18 years of age. She also called to give convicted criminals back their voting privileges.
In her speech at Texas Southern University in Houston, Hillary attacked the 2013 decision by the US Supreme Court that allowed southern states to finally escape the strangled hold that the federal government had on their election laws.
Hillary also indulged all the same old unsupported claims that Republicans and state lawmakers want to “take away” the vote from minorities, saying, “All of these problems with voting just didn’t happen by accident.”
Clinton said that she was fighting, “for the grandmother who’s turned away from the polls because her driver’s license expired.” She next intimated that she wants felons to be given their voting privileges back when she said, “for the father who’s done his time and paid his debt to society but still hasn’t gotten his rights back.”
Warming to her purely populist theme, Hillary continued saying, “We have a responsibility to say clearly and directly what’s really going on in our country. Because what is happening is a sweeping effort to disempower and disenfranchise people of color, poor people, and young people from one end of our country to the other.”
Hillary went on to claim that the Supreme Court “eviscerated” voter laws, opening the door to suppress the vote throughout the south.
She went on with more left-wing populism, slamming the SCOTUS, saying, “We need a Supreme Court that cares more about protecting the right to vote of a person to vote than the right of a corporation to buy an election.”
But contrary to Hillary’s claims that “the poor” and “people of color” are being “disenfranchised,” statistics don’t seem to buttress her claims. Despite the fact that the very laws Hillary is defaming have been enacted, these states have not prevented more poor, lower class, or minorities from voting. And over the past few elections, these classes have streamed to the polls in greater numbers than ever.
In 2012, for instance, blacks outvoted whites for the first time on record. In 2015, the Senate’s Democrats got 20 million more votes than the Senate Republicans. Additionally, there is no evidence whatsoever that voter ID laws suppresses voter turnout. Even The New York Times had to admit last year that voter ID laws do nothing to curtail voting.
So, if the newer voting laws Hillary claims are so bad are meant to depress turnout, they seem to have failed spectacularly.
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston, or email the author at firstname.lastname@example.org.