Rand Paul Bucks GOP in Opposing Voter ID Laws

Says Republicans have gone 'crazy' on the issue

By John Johnson,  Newser Staff

Posted May 10, 2014 9:01 AM CDT

(Newser) – Rand Paul thinks Republicans are way off base in pushing voter ID laws, a stance that makes him the "most prominent member of his party" to come out against them, reports the New York Times. “Everybody’s gone completely crazy on this voter ID thing,” he tells the newspaper. “I think it’s wrong for Republicans to go too crazy on this issue because it’s offending people.” Politico notes that this is the same Rand Paul who offended African-Americans a few years back by suggesting that he didn't fully support the Civil Rights Act, or at least some aspects of it. "But he also has made a concerted effort to reach out to blacks during what appears to be a build up to a presidential campaign," says the Politico story.

Paul, who was in Memphis to address the Republican National Committee, met with a group of black pastors during his visit. Afterward, he told the Times that he's not only opposed to voter ID laws but is committed to helping felons regain their voting rights. “There’s 180,000 people in Kentucky who can’t vote," he said. "And I don’t know the racial breakdown, but it’s probably more black than white because they’re convicted felons. And I’m for getting their right to vote back, which is a much bigger deal than showing your driver’s license.”

Kentucky Senator Rand Paul address attendees during the Republican National Committee spring meeting at the Peabody hotel in Memphis, Tenn., on May 9, 2014.
Kentucky Senator Rand Paul address attendees during the Republican National Committee spring meeting at the Peabody hotel in Memphis, Tenn., on May 9, 2014.   (AP Photo/The Commercial Appeal, William DeShazer)
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