The State of New Mexico has issued an estimated 30,000 drivers licenses to foreign nationals – a large number of which we can assume are illegal immigrants. These licenses can be used as identification to allow these folks to vote.
The State Republican Party has been in a legal war with Governor Bill Richardson’s administration over the right to inspect those public records in order to compare them against the voting rolls to ensure that only those eligible to vote are in fact registered to vote. They’re losing the battle on what appears to me to be a partisan legal decision (subscription):
District Judge Valerie Mackie Huling of Albuquerque ruled recently that state and federal anti-stalking laws trumped public records arguments and the GOP’s attempt to make sure non-citizens aren’t voting.
So, why am I saying this has the appearance of partisanship?
Robert Johnson, executive director of the New Mexico Foundation for Open Government, said in an interview prior to his death earlier this month that he was puzzled by the ruling because “the state argued that these records are sacrosanct.
“These records are not locked away,” Johnson said. “There are at least two data collection companies that offer access to these records to a wide range of entities willing to pay for it.”
The State won’t allow the GOP to use the public information to verify the integrity of our voter rolls, but they’ll turn a profit by selling it to a third party who can in turn resell it again. There is something seriously wrong with this logic – some may even find it unethical.