Wednesday, August 17, 2011

AG calls Cape Vincent resolution unconstitutional

At an editorial board meeting with the Watertown Daily Times, the state's lawyer said that he's glad he hasn't had to deal with Cape Vincent's law requiring that voters have driver's licenses with CV addresses.

"Because it's unconstitutional," Mr. Schneiderman said.

So that should put this puppy to rest.

For background: Cape Vincent is in the middle of a fight over wind turbine projects. To outsiders, wind turbines seem like the most inoffensive source of energy ever — wind can't be depleted, and it's not like wind turbines are going to throw the Earth of its axis (for the culturally unhip: The Onion is satire).

"Anti-windies," as they're called not to their faces, recently launched a voter registration drive to get seasonal residents to vote in Cape Vincent's upcoming primary and general elections.

Keep in mind — seasonal residents have every right to vote where they choose, as long as they live in the district for 30 days before the election. (Logic would tell you that seasonal residents — people who really enjoy the scenic vistas of Lake Ontario — would be more anti-wind power than their permanent neighbors, who could rake in economic benefits, and who in turn would care more about the money more than people who have two homes do.)

So the "pro-windies" decided to pass a local resolution that said only people with CV addresses on a driver's license could vote. (In a hilarious twist, the resolution also said that if the poll worker recognizes the voter, they can vote. What an idea!)

To say it bureaucratically, Mr. Schneiderman was saying that this law will have no effect on Cape Vincent's election because the town can't do something that would override the state's election law.

To say it metaphorically, just because I put on a wig and insist that you call me Your Royal Highness doesn't make me Queen Elizabeth II.

No comments: