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September 12, 1971 - Image 7

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Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1971-09-12

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. Sunday, September 12, 1971

THE MICHIGAN DRILY

Page Seven

Sunday, September 1 2, 1 971 WE MViHIGAN DAILY Page Seven

SEffects of new student voters
on Ann Arbor politics unclear

fi
........................................................................................................................ X". .. .

(Continued from Page 1)
Currently there are only about
40,000 registered voters in the city
-causing people to wonder if the
experience of Berekely and Mad-
ison can be repeated in Ann Arbor.
Members of the city's Human'
Rights-Radical Independent Par-
ty (HR-RIP) . think it can, and
have been working since the par-
ty's establishment last spring to
build a r a'd i c a 1 political base
among students in the commun-
ity.
Steve Nissen, HR-RIP spokes-
man, predicts HR-RIP may be
able to control three of the city's
five wards "in three to five years".
As long as the number of stu-
' dent voters which go to the Dem-
ocratic candidates is not substan-
tially greater than the number of
non-student votes that HR-RIP
receives, HR-RIP will be success-
ful, Nissen asserts.
The likelihood of such an equal
trade-off, however, is discounted
by many city politicians. Leading

layout of the city and its ward ward boundaries and move them
boundaries. over a few blocks.'
The city is divided into five If only slight changes from the
wedge-shaped w a r d s emanating present disposition of the wardsr
from the center of the city which are made, certain patterns are
fan ut o tat achencmpaseslikely to appear in the upcoming
fa ou sot tthat each encompasesut ctdeleton a t
central city as well, as outlying ityeetos
residential neighborhoods. The second ward, historically di-
It is this ward system. devised vided between more liberal stu-
in 1967 under a Republican ad- dent - dominated central pre-
ministration, which, in part, regu- cincts and more conservative out-
lates the character of the city's lying ones,has experienced many
tight elections.
politics. With almost all students eligible
In the first, second and third to register now, as compared with
wards, the narrow tips of which limited' student participation in
extend into heavily student popu- the past, student influence in this
lated areas near campus, students ward is likely to be considerable.
may for the first time have a real- Similarly, the third ward's cen-
istic chance to influence city poli- tral precincts are inhabited large-
tics. ly by students, and depending on
By law, the city must redistrict how many students register, it too
after everyy census, and a com- should come under increased stu-
mittee, appointed by city council, dent influence.
is presently studying the problem s Ward one may have the most
of redrawing the ward boun- potential of all due to its unique
daries. composition. It is divided between
Final approval of a redistricting student and predominantly black
plan, however, lies with the Re-' areas. This combination has tra-
publican party by virtue of its one ditionally led to Democratic dom-
vote majority on council. inance but successful recruiting by
Harris fears the Republicans HR-RIP, coupled with an awak-I
may use this power to draw wards ening of a now dormant student-
so as to minimize the growing po- black alliance, could bring changes.
tential of student voting power. The other wards, numbers four
He further speculates that the re- and five, however, are likely to
districting of the city may end up remain in Republican hands due
in court due to the importance of to their largely middle-class com-I
the issue. position.

ile e utumn f7
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Democrats

are optimistic

their liberal programs will appeal
to the majority of the new voters.
Councilman Robert Faber (D-
2nd Ward) expresses confidence
that students will continue their
past support of the Democratic
party.
"We will continue to get the'
bulk of - the (student) vote, re-
gardless." he says. "HR-RIP," Fa-
ber adds, "will not get near to 501
per cent" of the student vote.
Councilman James Stephenson,
(R-4th Ward), agrees, saying the
new student vote is almost certain
to aid his Democratic opponents
in coming elections.
In the second ward, which con-
tains a considerable student popu-
lation, leading Republicans say
incumbent Republican R o b e rt
Weaver faces an uphill battle for
re-election. Weaver, admits that
should he seek re - election, his
affiliation with the Republicans
could hurt his chances.
Recent polls of the campus show
that while Democrats do surpass
Republicans in popularity among
University students, the students,
by and large are independent of
party affiliation.
The Democrats say they can
hold on to their present allies
and still get the votes of a ma-
jority of the independents.
HR-RIP, however, says the in-
dependents can be convinced to
support their party, and defections
will be garnered fro mthe Demo-
cratic camp. As Democratic Mayor
Robert Harris puts it, "Much de-
pends on. wiat the, HR-RIP-Dem-1
ocratic split among student voters
is."
Another factor controlling the'
extent and nature of student in-
fluence in the city is the physical
For the student body:
FLARES
by
SLevi
Farah
Wright
Lee
* Male
CHECKMATE
State Street at Liberty

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I

DO THESE CLEAN-CUT
AMERICANS BELONG?

E

City charter, however, strictly
limits the power of the council to
redraw the wards says redistrict-,
ing committee chairman Robert
Grace. "Our hands are tied", he
says, complaining that the com-
mittee can do little but "erase
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fine used books
art books
Sall paperbacks
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Now at a new location
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corner of Maynard & William
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Bells .......
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CHECKMATE
State Street at Liberty

Project
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* Black Liberation School
" Matrix (Resource Center)
* Mental Health Hallway Houe
" Project Community Course
* Solstis Free School
" Washtenaw Community College
Project
. Willis Community Action Project
- Willow Run Counseling Proect

IH

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