Motor-Voter Law and the DMV

* The allegation of Peter Drier and Jowanna Waits (“If They’re Registered, Most Will Vote,” Commentary, April 20) that the Department of Motor Vehicles will not comply with the federal “motor-voter” law is 100% wrong. With Gov. Pete Wilson’s strong support, the DMV is preparing to comply with the law and will do so by the Jan. 1, 1995, deadline. The DMV has no need for legislation to comply.

In fact, DMV plans are in place to implement “motor voter” even though the federal government has yet to issue its own guidelines. We don’t need federal guidelines, but it would be nice if Uncle Sam would reimburse us for the $3 million per year California taxpayers will be spending to implement just the DMV portion of this unfunded federal mandate.

DMV employees proudly follow the laws of California and of the United States. The charge that DMV would do otherwise for political reasons or for any reason is unfair to the DMV and to our employees.

FRANK S. ZOLIN, Director


DMV, Sacramento

* From my view I give Gov. Wilson high marks for rebuffing the federal motor-voter law. It is yet another example of an unfunded federal mandate. I have voted in all states that I’ve lived in for nearly 50 years and have never had a problem registering, and with convenience. Also, I’ve never been asked to prove citizenship. We don’t need more federal bureaucracy to solve what I believe to be both a voter apathy problem and a states’ rights issue. It should go to the courts for resolution.

And finally, the authors’ statement that " . . . social welfare agencies have a much higher standard of screening applicants than our system of registering voters at sidewalk tables . . .” is difficult to digest in the face of almost daily articles about the flagrant abuses and mismanagement in our already overworked welfare system.