Dems troubled by approval of proof-of-citizenship to vote in 3 states

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House Democrats are concerned that Election Assistance Commission (EAC) Executive Director Brian Newby violated commission policies when he agreed to let Alabama, Georgia and Kansas require proof of citizenship when residents are registering to vote.

{mosads}In a letter to the EAC Wednesday, Reps. Elijah Cummings (Md.), ranking member of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, Robert Brady (Pa.), ranking member of the House Administration Committee, and Assistant Democratic Leader James Clyburn (S.C.) listed what they called “troubling findings” from an investigation into Newby’s decision.

“We remain extremely concerned that Mr. Newby’s actions violated internal EAC policies and precedent and may already have impaired the legitimate right to vote of many Americans,” said the letter, which comes a day after the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals blocked Newby’s move to approve the states’ requests.

The lawmakers said their investigation found that Newby failed to analyze what impact his decision would have on the ability of eligible voters to register to vote and even conceded that Alabama and Georgia had not submitted any evidence to show why proof of citizenship was necessary.

The nation’s top election administration agency claimed that Newby had been unaware until recently that proof of citizenship laws could have a disproportionate impact on people of color and that the EAC had denied similar requests by states in the past.

“Given these troubling findings, we request that you produce all documents withheld for attorney-client or deliberative process privileges, with the privileged portions redacted,” they said in the letter. 

“We also request that you arrange for staff to hold meetings with each EAC Commissioner to learn more about their conversations with Mr. Newby and about his unilateral decision.”

The EAC has until Oct. 6 to respond.

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