High-ranking congressional Democrats are raising more serious concerns about a move by the director of a federal voting agency that made it easier for several red states to require documentary proof of citizenship from people registering to vote. Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, Rep. Robert A. Brady and Rep. James E. Clyburn urged the Election Assistance Commission in a letter sent Wednesday to formally rescind a change made in January to the instructions on the federal voter registration form for Kansas, Georgia and Alabama, which allowed those states to require citizenship proof. A federal court found this month that the move, which was carried out unilaterally by the agency’s executive director, Brian Newby, could disenfranchise large numbers of eligible voters. Ruling that the move may violate federal voting law, the court blocked it from being enforced pending a resolution of the case. The letter outlines what the lawmakers called “troubling findings” from their probe into the issue — among them, that Newby conducted no written analysis of the impact of the change, and that he himself may no longer be certain that it was legal.
“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,” the lawmakers wrote.
Cummings is the top Democrat on the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, Brady is the top Democrat on the Committee on House Administration, and Clyburn is the Assistant Democratic Leader, the number three position in the House Democratic caucus.
Asked for comment, a spokesman for the EAC told NBC News that the agency would review the lawmakers’ request, and would respond directly to them. Newby has defended the move in the past, describing it to MSNBC as a routine administrative change which he was authorized to do without the approval of the agency’s commissioners.
Full Article: Dems Seek Reversal on Voter Registration Hurdle – NBC News.