A month after Barack Obama's re-election, TalkingPointsMemo.com notes an interesting bit of Democratic triumphalism:
The Republican push to make it more difficult to vote this year--seen by many as a racially tinged attempt to keep Democratic turnout down--could not have failed more spectacularly, a top African American activist told a left-leaning think tank Tuesday.
Chanelle Hardy, a vice president at the National Urban League, told an audience at the Center For American Progress in Washington that, as conservatives had suspected, there was a drop-off in enthusiasm among the African American electorate between 2008 and 2012. . . . Unfortunately for those Republican strategists' plans, however, other Republicans in legislatures across the country were on a quest to impose restrictions on voting, chasing the ghost of in-person voter fraud.
Those Republican legislators flipped a switch with the African American vote, Hardy said, rekindling whatever enthusiasm had waned after 2008's historic Obama win.
"We'd been struggling for many years in our communities with how we make the argument that our parents and grandparents had handed down to us: 'you must vote, because people fought and died for you to have the right to vote.' It starts to become a little less motivating the further away you get away from those really visceral memories of what it took to get to the polls," Hardy said. "But then you bring back a 35 state assault on our ability to vote and it starts getting really reminiscent. All of the things our parents were telling us and our grandparents were telling us become visceral to a new generation."
Let's stipulate that what Hardy says is true. Now, in light of this information, let's consider the argument against voter ID laws.
Opponents make two claims: that, as is "seen by many" according to TPM, such laws are intended to suppress minority voting; and that such laws have the effect of suppressing minority voting. Hardy clearly agrees with the first claim, inasmuch as she characterizes voter ID requirements as an "assault on our ability to vote." She provides no evidence for this claim, or at least none that TPM finds worth reporting, but then her audience probably didn't need to be convinced.
Hardy's assessment of the 2012 election, however, directly contradicts the claim that voter ID laws actually suppress minority voting. According to her, they have precisely the opposite effect.