Democrats and Republicans have battled in recent years over almost every major aspect of voting rules. But they have found one rare area of agreement: allowing people to register to vote online—an innovation that a growing number of states are adopting.
Now though, key officials in some big Republican-led states are getting cold feet about the idea. In Florida, Gov. Rick Scott’s administration has used some outlandish claims in opposing an online registration measure. In Texas, GOP lawmakers voted down a similar bill citing concerns about fraud. And in Ohio, an online voter registration bill being pushed by the Republican secretary of state is stalled in the GOP-controlled legislature.
The emerging intra-party split on the issue underscores a stark reality: Despite record low turnout last November, there are now essentially no policies for significantly expanding access to the polls—save perhaps uncontroversial proposals to help service-members vote—that the GOP wholeheartedly supports.