News of Otsego County

Serving Otsego County, NY, through the combined reporting of Cooperstown's Freeman's Journal and the Hometown Oneonta newspapers.
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County clerks

‘Green Light’ Bill Facing Clerks’ Anger

‘Green Light’ Bill

Facing Clerks’ Anger

By JIM KEVLIN• Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

Sinnot Gardner

COOPERSTOWN – By presstime, no word had been received from President Trump’s regional representation on whether the Justice Department will go to court to stop New York State’s “Green Light” law from going into effect Dec. 14.

The “Green Light” law would require the state’s county clerks who operate state Department of Motor Vehicle offices locally to issue driver’s licenses to what some people call undocumented residents and other call illegal aliens.

Saratoga County Clerk Craig Hayner wrote the first letter to Trump last week, asking the president to direct the Justice Department to intervene.  Within two or three days, 35 county clerks in all, including Otsego County’s Kathy Sinnott Gardner, he written similar letters.

All but one were Republicans, Hayner said in an interview.  The sole Democrat was the Oneida County clerk, Sandy Deperno.

According to Sinnot Gardner, the president of the state County Clerks Association, Judith Hunter of Steuben County, has summoned members to a meeting July 8 in Syracuse.  The local clerk said she plans to attend, and will say more about the issue after that.

Hayner’s letter to Trump said that, while other states have similar laws allowing undocumented or illegal residents to get driver’s licenses, none have gone as far as the bill passed by the Democratic state Legislature this year and signed by Governor Cuomo.

It prohibits the state’s county clerks from sharing any driver’s-license information with federal immigration authorities.  Since county clerks take oaths to administer both the state and U.S. Constitutions, Hayner believes the new law is requiring clerks to break one law or the other.

Sinnot Garner agrees, but has another concern.  The state DMV installed “customer facing devices” in county DMV offices a few months ago, where driver’s-license applicants are required to check a box indicating if they have registered to vote or not.

If someone checks the “no” box, his or her material is sent automatically to the county Board of Elections, which registers them, the Otsego clerk said, without knowing if they are citizens or not.

 

Otsego Clerk Asks Trump: Turn Off  ‘Green Light’ Law

35 CLERKS WRITE TO PRESIDENT

Otsego Clerk Asks

Trump: Turn Off

 ‘Green Light Law’

She Also Worries Illegal Immigrants

May Inadvertently Be Allowed To Vote

Gardner

COOPERSTOWN – Otsego County Clerk Kathy Sinnott Gardner said yesterday she has joined 30 county clerks in sending a letter to President Trump, asking him to direct the U.S. Justice Department to go to court to block the state’s new “Green Light Law.”

In an interview, Saratoga County Clerk Chris Hayner said, as of yesterday, that number had risen to 35.  He said all were Republicans, except Oneida County Clerk Sandra DePerno, a Utica Democrat.

Help Clerks Fight ‘Green Light’ Law, Letter Asks Trump

Help Clerks Fight

‘Green Light’ Law,

Letter Asks Trump

State Requires Actions Against

Constitution, Hayner Declares

Craig Hayner

COOPERSTOWN – Saratoga County Clerk Craig Hayner, with the concurrence of 30 county clerks across the state, has asked President Trump to ask the Justice Department to go to federal court to determine if New York State’s “Green Light” Law, which goes into effect Dec. 14, is constitutional.

The “Green Light” Law, passed by the Democratic controlled state Legislature, requires county clerks to issue driver’s licenses to illegal immigrants.  The Otsego County Board of Representatives passed a resolution this month objecting to the bill, and Otsego County Clerk Kathy Sinnott Gardner has expressed concern the automatic license-application program will automatically register undocumented residents as voters.

HERE’S COUNTY CLERK’S LETTER TO PRESIDENT

 

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