A picture of Niagara Falls will be featured on New York’s new - and controversial - license plate.
The new plate, selected following a statewide contest that generated plenty of public debate, anger and even conspiracy theories, will also feature an image of the Statue of Liberty and the New York City skyline.
The winning plate design was selected out of five optional plate designs, four with variations of the Statue of Liberty on them and another that offered an image of the Mario M. Cuomo Bridge.
The New York State Department of Motor Vehicles announced the winning selection on Friday, noting that the preferred plate design drew about half of the 325,000 votes cast.
While the choice has been made, it does not appear so-called “plate-gate” will come to an end.
New York State Republican Party Chairman Nick Langworthy - a chief critic of Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo who is supporting a plan to reissue license plates statewide at a cost to motorists - announced Friday that he has submitted a formal Freedom of Information Law request, seeking all documentation related to the license plate contest.
Langworthy indicated in a press release that he is seeking the information in an effort to determine if the contest was really a “scam.”
“Forcing New Yorkers to pay a new license plate tax and then devising a rigged contest to get his namesake bridge design is classic Prince Andrew,” Langworthy said. “Cuomo’s new tax was bad enough but now he needs to come clean and hand over all documents and correspondence related to this so-called contest. New Yorkers have a right to full transparency.”
Under the state’s license plate plan, on April 1, drivers with plates that are 10 years or older will receive new plates when they renew their registration. The plan calls for a $25 replacement fee to be applied to the registration fee and another $20 charge for motorists who want to keep the same plate number. Estimates suggest the move could bring about $75 million into the state’s coffers.
Cuomo has said the new plates are needed to ensure optimum performance for electronic toll reading systems like those found on Grand Island.