POLITICS
04/23/2014 02:20 pm ET Updated Apr 23, 2014

Rand Paul: GOP 'May Have Over-Emphasized' Voter Fraud Fears

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Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) speculated that the Republican Party may be exaggerating the extent of voter fraud, as more GOP-controlled states pass new voter identification laws to combat what the party claims is a widespread problem.

Paul sat down for a wide-ranging conversation Tuesday with David Axelrod, former senior adviser to President Barack Obama, at the University of Chicago's Institute of Politics. Here's a portion of their conversation, according to a transcript from The Washington Post:

PAUL: Dead people do still vote in some elections. There still is some fraud. And so we should stop that, and one way of doing it is [driver's licenses].

AXELROD: Although the incidence of fraud is relatively small.

PAUL: It probably is, and I think Republicans may have over-emphasized this. I don't know.

Democrats say voter identification laws suppress the vote of minorities, seniors, students and women, who are less likely to have the required forms of identification and more likely to vote for Democrats.

Paul also told Axelrod that he opposes restricting access to early voting, as states such as Ohio and Wisconsin have done.

"Republicans who want to make their whole thing eliminating early voting, I think it’s a mistake," he said.

Paul has advocated for restoring voting rights for nonviolent felons as he attempts to broaden his appeal ahead of a potential run for the Republican presidential nomination in 2016.

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