October 22, 2007

Update on Driver's Licenses for Illegals

Critics of Governor Spitzer's plan to let illegal aliens get drivers' licenses tore into the administration yesterday for backing off a policy they say would have made it tougher for illegals to unlawfully register to vote.

Social Security numbers cannot be required to get motor-voter registration forms from the Department of Motor Vehicles, the administration now says, marking a policy shift reported yesterday by The Post.

That means the form can go to any applicant for a driver's license who asks for one -including anyone in the country illegally who is not allowed to vote.

This latest controversy stems from an Oct. 2 DMV memo to county clerks who run local DMV offices. It said only driver's-license applicants with Social Security numbers should be given motor-voter registration forms.

On Friday, the clerks got a new memo. It said that, by law, "neither the DMV nor its county clerk agents have any statutory discretion to withhold a motor-voter form."

Spitzer aides said that the Oct. 2 memo was sent in error and that the law bars the DMV from taking any action that discourages anyone from registering to vote.

Though the DMV gives out the forms, it's up to local election boards to decide whether licensed drivers are eligible to cast ballots.

"DMV has taken the appropriate action to ensure that motor-voter applications are processed according to the law," said Spitzer spokeswoman Jennifer Givner.

She maintained that, despite what critics say, Spitzer's plan would have no impact on phony voting since a driver's license is only a form of identification, not confirmation of citizenship.

NY Post

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