(AP) – Residents of Kansas, Alabama and Georgia are no longer able to register to vote using a federal form without providing proof of U.S. citizenship after a federal elections official added the requirement without public notice or review by the agency’s commissioners.
The move by Brian Newby, the new executive director of the U.S. Election Assistance Commission, has sparked a backlash from one of its commissioners, who is asking the changes be withdrawn.
The American Civil Liberties Union says it’s a brazen move that will create additional barriers.
Newby defended his decision as a routine administrative action taken at the request of the states.
He took over the agency’s top job last November and came from Johnson County, Kansas, where the secretary of state has pushed for such laws for years