IN STATE after state, Republicans are responding to the 2020 election not by rethinking the candidates they run and the policies they espouse, but by trying to make it harder to vote.

The latest examples are in Montana, where the state House approved last week a bill that would eliminate same-day voter registration. Lawmakers did so despite the fact Montanans soundly rejected eliminating same-day registration in a 2014 vote. In the state Senate, meanwhile, legislators considered a bill that would require identification to register to vote, even though the state already demands voters present ID with proof of residency when voting.

These proposals are only a couple among dozens across the country. Republicans in swing state Arizona might have introduced the most radical slate of anti-voting bills. One would enable the legislature to overturn the state’s voting results for president, awarding Arizona’s electoral college votes to the candidate of lawmakers’ choosing. That could have allowed GOP lawmakers to reverse Joe Biden’s victory in the state last year. Another bill would purge voters from the state’s permanent early-voting list, cutting the number of Arizonans who receive absentee ballots in advance of every election. Yet another would require voters to get their mail-in ballots notarized before sending them back.

And over in Pennsylvania, Republicans have moved to eliminate no-excuse absentee voting, after Mr. Biden won the state with an overwhelming mail-in ballot haul.

Republicans say they are trying to make elections run more smoothly. But plenty of states and counties have managed to conduct orderly elections without making voting hard. If counting mail-in ballots causes reporting delays, allow election officials to start counting earlier. If same-day registration sometimes results in lines, the answer is to hire a few more poll workers, not to deny unregistered citizens the ability to vote on Election Day. Better yet, enacting automatic registration, which registers voters when they get driver’s licenses or interact with the state government in other ways, would all but eliminate the need for anyone to even think about having to register.

Republicans also argue that their bills respond to a loss of faith in the voting process following a disputed 2020 result. Yet there was no rational basis to dispute Mr. Biden’s victory. Republican lies are responsible for the loss of faith, and the simple cure is for Republicans to stop indulging in factless conspiracy theories.

Instead, their bills only reinforce the toxic myth that the last election was illegitimate, exploiting manufactured outrage to suppress legitimate voting in future elections. The nation needs voting reforms, but ones that respond to authentic security risks and that make the process easier for Americans to navigate. Republican anti-voting proposals would do neither.

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