Jacobs Introduces Reforms to Prevent Voter Fraud Due to Green Light Law

Legislation protects against illegal immigrants, non-citizens voting in elections

(Buffalo, NY) – State Senator Chris Jacobs has introduced legislation to provide protections against voter fraud occurring as a result of New York’s Green Light Law.  New York’s Green Light Law allows illegal immigrants to obtain a New York State Driver’s License, also making it very easy for illegal immigrants to unlawfully register to vote while obtaining a driver’s license at a Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) location.  Jacobs’ bill would require first time voters to provide documentation that they are United States Citizens when voting.

“As a former Erie County Clerk who ran Auto Bureaus throughout the County, I know how easy it is to register to vote while doing a transaction at the DMV,” said Jacobs.  “With the Green Light Law taking effect it will be incredibly simple for illegal immigrants to register to vote, especially since the Green Light Law specifically prohibits employees from asking a person’s citizenship while registering to vote at the DMV.”

Jacobs claims the concern about voter fraud from the Green Light Law is real, as other states that have instituted similar laws have seen increases in fraud.  In California officials estimated that as many as 1,500 non-citizens were incorrectly registered to vote.  In Pennsylvania, the fraud problem was much more severe.  Officials there confirmed that over 11,000 non-citizens became voters through their department of Motor Vehicles.  These statistics confirm the great potential for fraud locally as more than 50% of new registrations in Erie County come through the State Department of Motor Vehicles. 

The Senator explained that once a person registers at a DMV, that information goes immediately to the Board of Elections and currently there is no requirement to verify one’s citizenship when they go to vote.  The bill Jacobs is proposing will require someone voting for the first time and who registered at a DMV, to provide documentation of their United States citizenship when they go to vote. This requirement will only be for the first time they vote.

“I was strongly opposed to the Green Light Bill, but it appears the lawsuits to stop it have not succeeded and it will become the law of the land,” the Senator said.  “I believe my legislation will at least protect against threats to the integrity of our system of voting from a significant increase in voter fraud,” Jacobs concluded. 

The Green Light Law becomes effective today, Monday December 16th.