US elections official parlayed ties to gain influence

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — A Kansas county elections official used his ties to one of the nation’s leading advocates of voting restrictions to help secure the top job at a government agency entrusted with making voting accessible, and then used the federal position to implement an obstacle to voter registration.

Documents obtained by The Associated Press show Brian Newby told Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach that he could count on Newby months before the county official was hired to head the U.S. Election Assistance Commission.

Newby then decided residents of Alabama, Kansas and Georgia could no longer register to vote using a national form without providing proof of U.S. citizenship.

Kobach says he recommended Newby to the commission but didn’t mention job performance issues in his Kansas job.