Fearing another blue wave like the one that gave Democrats the House majority in last year's midterm elections, GOP lawmakers in Republican-controlled states are trying to make voting harder to curb future voter turnout, NPR reports.
Texas state lawmakers have proposed criminal punishment for individuals who fill voter registration forms improperly. In Arizona, GOP lawmakers are trying to complicate the early voting procedure. And Tennessee Republicans are deliberating a bill to penalize voter registration drive groups that submit improperly filled forms.
The lawmakers in the states argue that new rules should be set in place to prevent fraud. But Democrats and voting rights supporters argue that the proposals are attempts to prevent young, nonwhite, and poor citizens from voting because they are less loyal to Republicans. The proposal could put a stop to current trends in states like Arizona and Texas, where political and demographic trends threaten to dismantle the Republican reign for the first time in recent memory.
The proposals in Republican-controlled states is almost the exact opposite of those enacted in Democrat-run state legislatures. Blue states are increasing access to absentee and early voting and spreading practices of automatic voter registration.
"We are seeing both the good and bad side of the fallout of the 2018 election," said co-director of the voting rights and redistricting program at the Campaign Legal Center, Danielle Lang.