Rand Paul: Voter ID Laws are Good -- But 'Dumb Idea for GOP to Emphasize'

It may deter blacks from voting Republican

On Sunday's Meet the Press, Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) made his position clear that showing ID at the polls is necessary but shouldn't be an election focus for Republicans.

Paul explained his reasoning to host Chuck Todd, saying emphasizing ID laws creates an equation in the black community to the suppression of votes from the '40s and '50s in the South. "So what I try to do is, I say the opposite," Paul said. "I say, 'I want more people to vote. I'm for enhancing vote, and I actually sponsored a bill with Harry Reid that would restore voting rights to people who had youthful, non-violent crimes, [and] have served their time.' "

But emphasizing voter ID during elections is a "dumb idea" and there are better ways to secure the African-American vote for the GOP. Paul said:

It doesn't mean that I think it is unreasonable, I just think it a dumb idea for Republicans to emphasize this and say, 'Oh, this is how we are going to win the elections.'

Early voting should be out there for everybody. I'm for early voting, I'm for more voting. But I'm saying, let's go to the black community, compete for the vote, let's talk about criminal justice, and school choice, and economic opportunity. There are ways we can get the African-American vote to come to the Republican Party.

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