A divided town council in Cape Vincent decided 3-2 Thursday night to require people to produce a driver’s license before they can vote.
The license would have to show a Cape Vincent address.
The vote came as supporters and opponents of wind power each try to control town government.
There are more seasonal residents than permanent residents in Cape Vincent, and wind power opponents have encouraged seasonal residents to change their voting registration to Cape Vincent.
Thursday night’s law is a way to stop that: presumably, most seasonal residents would not change their driver’s licence.
Town council member Donald Mason, who introduced the law, told 7 News “This isn’t a wind issue. This is a voter fraud issue as far as I’m concerned.”
But the two council members who voted against the law quickly dismissed it as illegal.
“I guess we’re gonna leave it to the courts to decide, but it clearly violates any voting regulation that I know of, ” said town supervisor Urban Hirschey.
Several experts in state voting law told 7 News the law is not legal. In general, election laws do not require voters to present additional proof before voting.
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