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Sen. Rand Paul says voter 'fraud happened' and 'the election in many ways was stolen'

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Will the Kentucky Republican challenge the Electoral College votes?

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Kentucky GOP Sen. Rand Paul said Wednesday that voter "fraud happened" in the Nov. 3 election and that "the election in many ways was stolen," pointing to examples of allegations raised in several states.

The Republican made the comment during a Senate hearing addressing election irregularities as President Donald Trump continues to challenge the outcome of the race despite President-elect Joe Biden officially winning the Electoral College vote.

What are the details?

"A lot of the laws that have to be confirmed and I think reaffirmed are state laws, so it's not in our purview," Paul said, addressing the Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee. "But the state laws are set, and then we have federal elections. So what we've heard about what happened in Wisconsin, what happened in Nevada, I think is absolutely true and we have to prevent it from happening again.

"I think state legislatures will need to reaffirm that election law can only be changed by a state legislature," he continued, referring to changes in election laws made in some states by officials rather than lawmakers — such as in Pennsylvania where universal mail-in voting was implemented ahead of the general election without action from the legislature.

Paul went on to argue, "The fraud happened. The election in many ways was stolen, and the only way it will be fixed is by in the future reinforcing the laws."

What else?

Sen. Paul's remarks sparked speculation over whether he might be considering challenging the Electoral College votes next month when Congress meets to certify the election for Biden, an action that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) in a call earlier this week reportedly urged GOP members not to do.

When asked about the prospect by CNN, Paul replied, "I haven't thought about it, or made any plans to do anything." Regarding McConnell's alleged warning, Paul said, "I wasn't part of that phone call."

Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Ala.) announced weeks ago that he plans to contest the Electoral College votes on Jan. 6, saying that the "election was stolen by the socialists engaging in extraordinary voter fraud and election theft measures."

No Senate Republicans has yet committed to joining Brooks in the challenge, but if one were to do so it would force debate over the issue. However, the prospect of overturning the Electoral College vote by Congress is highly unlikely, particularly given that Democrats control the House.

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