A Washington group has renewed its call for an investigation of Brian Newby, the former head of the Johnson County Election Office and now in charge of the U.S. Election Assistance Commission, or EAC. Allied Progress has written the EAC’s inspector general, asking her to examine Newby’s decision to approve applications from three states, including Kansas, to modify their federal registration forms in order to require documentary proof of citizenship to register. Newby made the decision to allow the changes despite the absence of formal approval from the EAC’s board of comissioners. Newby said he had the authority to make the decision on his own. Several groups sued to stop implementation of the requirement. In September, a federal appeals court blocked Kansas and the other states from changing their federal forms to require citizenship proof.
This spring, Allied Progress asked the IG to investigate Newby — and his communications with Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, and others, about the controversial decision. The EAC’s IG office declined, citing the pending court case.
Thursday, the group said the legal battle was over, and now it wants to find out what Newby knew, and when he knew it.
“Mr. Newby may have violated … policy by having what appear to be private, off-the-record communications with state officials from Kansas, Georgia, and Alabama regarding the imposition of a requirement that applicants for voter registration include documentary proof of U.S. citizenship,” the group’s director says in a letter to the IG. “We therefore renew our request that your office open an investigation into Mr. Newby’s actions without further delay.”