GOP looks to Web for registration boost

A Republican effort to gain a technologic edge against Democrats is launching into full gear with a new online tool for registering voters.

The party on Wednesday launched Register.gop, a website that officials hope will help boost the number of people registering to vote to support Republicans.

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The new site, which comes in both English and Spanish, “represents a major advancement in cooperation among Republican party committees that will lead to success at the ballot box and further innovation from the party of ideas,” said Rep. Greg Walden (R-Ore.), chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC), in a statement.

The NRCC and others are “committed to building and supporting a voter registration platform that provides us with a permanent technological advantage over Democrats,” he added.

The site comes as part of a broader push to encourage new websites ending in .gop, rather than .com or .net, which Republican officials say should make it easier for local representatives, school groups and others to identify themselves with the party. Republicans registered the .gop extension earlier this year, as part of a wave of new domains with new letters after the “dot” in a website address, like .com or .net.

Sen. Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, called the registration site “one example of how the broader Republican community is attempting to engage voters online.”

While it is reserving some sites such as Register.gop, the party is selling scores others to people who want to identify with it online. The offerings spawned a rash of jokes online earlier this month, but advocates have maintained hope that the effort will make up some of the technologic shortfall than the party saw in the 2012 elections.

Democrats, they note, don’t have a domain name of their own and might not for years, since the nonprofit group handling domains has stopped accepting new applications.