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November 12, 1992 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1992-11-12

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

Page 4-The Michigan Daily- Thursday, November 12, 1992

l~e L(Iitorin (ItIii

420 Maynard Street
Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109

Opinion Editors

Edited and Managed
by Students at the
University of Michigan

Unsigned editorials represent a majority of the Daily's Editorial Board
All other cartoons, signed articles, and letters do not necessarily represent the opinion of the Daily.
Abundant voters, archaic machines

, - _ %- 1H- EPEIOT VOcTE iN UCTAHOa
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perhaps Rock the Vote and the scores of voter-
registration drives conducted across the coun-
try paid off. Voter turnout increased on a national,
as well as a local scale this year. Students - who
typically vote the least of any group in the elector-
ate-- waited in lines of up to three hours to pull the
lever for their favorite candidates. The fact that
Ann Arbor still uses old voting machines, and too
few at that, contributed to the confusion. Unfortu-
nately, this is 1992, and the time is past when
voters should be pulling the lever at all.
Ann Arbor's archaic voting machines are part
of the problem. Polling sites throughout campus
x had limited machines, and those they had take a
* longtime to operate, and are costly to maintain and
' store. The City Council should realize that by
investing in new voting technology, the city cando
its part to increase voter turnout.
The increased voter turnout throughout the
state is truly encouraging. Sixty-two percent of
Ypsilanti voters turned out this year, up from 48
percentin 1988, according to the AnnArbor News.
The News estimates that 56,000 of the 90,788 Ann
Arbor voters participated in the elections, 2,500
more than in 1988. Figures were on the rise on the
state level as well. This year, 600,00() more people
voted than in 1988.
Most of these voters were committed enough
to hang around the polls. However, long lines at
most city precincts may have discouraged others
from voting.
A likely explanation - and one the City Clerk
admits, is that Ann Arbor's voting system is anti-
quated. The voting machines are more than 40
years old. Yet, the City pays more than $40,0(K) a
year to store these burdensome monsters.
It is time for the city to invest in new voting
equipment. The voting machines we have now are

not only huge, old, inefficient, and expensive, but
have also been becoming less and less reliable.
Many have been taken apart and used for spare
The city should explore investing in punch
cards, computer voting, or an optical scanning
system where voters fill out Scantron-like ballots.
A punch card system, for example, would entail
nominal storage costs. Computer voting, though an
expensive and experimental alternative, could make
voting fast and easy, eventually allowing people to
vote from their own homes.
The City Clerk suggests another compelling
alternative: multi-day voting. Texas has an innova-
tive system introduced in 1987 that allows voters
can cast ballots up to 17 days before the election.
With this system, Texas was able to garner a 72
percent voter turnout, and 2 million Texans cast
their votes before Election Day.
All of these are alternatives worth exploring. If
implemented, they could reduce long lines, which
are yet another deterrent to voting.

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Laskeep voters rom votin
1"'espite increased voter turnout this year, there makes voting easier for blue-collar workers -
k .J are still millions of Americans who did not especially those that work odd shifts - who may
cast their ballots. Eligible voters throughout the have a more difficult time getting off work.
country had difficulty registering and voting, be- Computer voting is another option worth ex-
cause ofinconvenient registration laws and voting ploring. The federal, as well as state governments,
procedures. Only by liberalizing these laws will should investigate new technologies that will make
turnout increase significantly. voting more convenient.
This can be done in a number of ways. First, on- This election year has shown that many citizens
site registration should be instituted nationwide. are anxious to get involved in the political process.
This way, voters could register as late as election People are willing to hear new ideas and they want
day. Second, President-elect Bill Clinton should change. The ousting of an incumbent president and
hold true to his pledge to support the Motor-Voter the emergence of a strong independent candidate
Bill, which President Bush vetoed. The bill would prove this beyond any doubt. At times like this, the
allow people to register to vote when they renew government can seize the opportunity to make
their driver's licenses. Simple, inexpensive mea- improvements in the state of the Union. One of
sures like these would make it much easier for those improvements is ensuring that all Americans
voters to register. play their proper roles in the political process.
Increasing the period during which people can Since a strong democracy requires active participa-
vote is another way to increase participation. Tex- tion, the voting process should be reformed as soon
ans now have 17 days to cast their ballots, which as possible.
1onneed voterscanddat

Anti-Semitic graffiti
To the Daily:
On Nov. 3, the infamous
"rock" on the corner of Hill Street
and Washtenaw was spray painted
with swastikas and "SS" signs.
Although anti-Semitism is
always enraging, I think it is
particularly significant that this
was done on Election Day. The
initial message on the rock had
been "Bush-Quayle, four more
years," and was later overlapped
by the anti-Semitic graffiti only
yards from Hillel.
We, as a society, have
complained that government has
failed us, when in reality, we, as
people, are failing each other.hSo
on a day like Election Day, when
we're clamoring for change -
mean it.
Royce Bernstein
LSA sophomore
Pro-choice diversity
To the Daily:
In his latest letter ("Pro-choice
contradictions," 10/28/92),
Michael Suhy states that the pro-
choice movement "continually
contradicts itself." Well of course
it does. To assume that the
millions of pro-choice advocates
agree on every facet of the issue is
absurd. What all pro-choice
supporters do believe, however, is
that a woman should have sole
control over her reproductive
Marykate Macaluso
LSA first-year student
Just the facts
To the Daily:
I recently saw an ad in the
classified section which read,
"Get the Daily get the facts!"
As a result of the Daily's
extreme leftist bias, one could
expect to find about as many
"facts" in the Daily as in the
former Soviet newspaper
"Pravada." In the Daily's defense
I must add that facts, most likely,
will be found in the crossword
puzzle, classified ads and the
simple reporting of natural
disasters. Perhaps your ad should
have stated, "Get the Daily get
the shaft!"
Eric Strom
LSA junior
Jeremy Frens
Pharmacy senior

How to be a better hockey fan

To the Daily:
I have now been to the two
home hockey games this year,
and must admit that I am at least
a little surprised by the relatively
kind-hearted nature of the fans at
Yost. As an undergraduate at
Cornell, I was part of a crowd
that terrorized the visiting team
for a full 60 minutes, so I
expected to find the same
unforgiving attitude here. Now,
Michigan has one of the best if
not the best team in the country,
and the team deserves the crowd
support that a number one team
should get. So here are a few
suggestions on how to be more
obnoxious at hockey games.
First, bring a newspaper to the
games to shake while the visitors
arc being announced, then throw
the paper on the ice when
Michigan's starting lineup is
announced (the Daily would be
an excellent choice here).
Secondly, never stop harass-
ing the opposing goalie. Let him
know that he sucks and that he's
a sieve - not just after a goal but

also during power plays, when he
comes onto the ice at the begin-
ning of the period, and when he
does something stupid. Also,
when Michigan's goalie makes a
nice play, chant "goalie-sieve-
goalie-sieve," while pointing at
the appropriate goalie.
Next, when the referee makes
a bad call (judging from the
Western game, this should happen
quite often), chant "I'm blind, I'm
deaf, I wanna be a ref." When the
referee exhibits a particularly
flagrant moment of idiocy, make
references to the referee's sexual
preferences for sheep and other
four-legged animals.
Finally, at the end of the game
the chant of "Go start the bus" is
usually appropriate.
One last thing. Real hockey
fans never leave the game early,
even if Michigan is losing. Use
this spare time at the end of the
game to use up any insults that
you still have, or else just curse at
the referee.
Bob Crespi
Rackham graduate student

Don't trivialize Greek system

'1 the Daily:
We were largely disappointed
in the Community Insight piece,
"Changes may help better Greek
system," (11/2/92) which
trivialized the ideals and goals of
Greek life by projecting it against
an idealistic view of what Mr.
Lundin thinks it should be.
In response to the author's
criticism that the process of
mutually selective rush only
succeeds in "attracting likes to
likes," we would like to argue
that it fosters great diversity not
only throughout the system but in
each chapter. The members are
not clones of one another as Mr.
Lundin wants us to believe. Each
member is encouraged to develop
her own individual identity and
talents and share them with the
rest of the chapter.
And as much as we are sure
that sorority women would
cherish the idea of men moving
into their houses tomorrow and
vice versa - to foster co-
educational relations, most
national charters would prohibit
this from ever happening.
sorority nationals are especially
strict on male visitation policies
for the specific purpose of

preventing sexual attacks. In
addition, there are not enough
housing options available for the
existing chapters on campus and
their members - quashing the
idea of chartering these new
horizon-expanding "fraternities."
We would like to express our
skepticism of Lundin's new rush
idea which would "randomly
place" members into houses
regardless of background,
attitudes or sex. When a student
considers their future living
environment, above all else they
must consider who is going to
share this environment. When the
privilege to chose these partners is
removed, the potential for a
positive experience is endangered.
We do not want to give the
impression that the Greek system
is against any idea of change for
the better. We know there are
problems that need to be resolved,
but the sooner they are solved in
society as a whole, the sooner they
will be solved in the Greek
Michelle Randall
LSA senior
Beth Davidson
LSA junior


A year ago, the American people and the media
pundits were predicting a dull, mud-slinging
campaign reminiscent of 1988. The press' ex-
poses on Gennifer Flowers and the Arkansas
governor's Vietnam War draft status nearly
wrecked a campaign and fulfilled the electorate's
worst fears. In a surprising turnaround, however,
the general campaign managed to connect with the
electorate in stark contrast to previous presidential
In earlier campaigns, candidates often made
stump speeches, visiting malls and walking up and
down busy streets meeting ordinary citizens. With
the inclusion of television, however, such full-
contact campaigning disappeared. The 1988 cam-
paignrepresented the worst-case scenario of what
became. modern campaign techniques.
In 1988, then Vice President George Bush and
Massachusetts Gov. Michael Dukakis flew into
airports throughout the country and gave a ten-
minute prepared speech, dedicating eight of those
minutes to the non-issues of the Pledge of Alle-
giance, flag-burning and ACLU membership. The
candidates would then get back on the plane and
fly off to another scheduled appearance.
The Clinton campaign's (and Bush campaign,
on fewer occasions) use of bus tours was a bril-
liant, although clearly rehearsed and orchestrated,
campaigntactic.The candidates returned tostump-
style campaigning, shaking tens of thousands of
hands and confronting middle-class voters in the
farm states, the rust-belt and California. The tours
were extremely popular, and will probably be a
tactic repeated in future campaigns. It should be
noted however, that both campaigns failed to
appear regularly in inner-cities and destitute rural
areas. This is an oversight that must be corrected
in the future.

The 1992 election, for the most part, provided a
long-needed respite from such silliness. The candi-
dates seemed more willing to break down the
barriers and make themselves more accessible to
the general population. In 1988, voters would never
have expected the candidates to appear on televi-
sion and hold an unrehearsed question-and-answer
period with the audience. This year, however, Bill
Clinton appeared on MTV and the "Arsenio Hall
Show," enabling the audience and its viewers to ask
him, first-hand, about problems facing the nation.
Clinton also participated in a town-hall meeting in
East Lansing, allowing still-undecided Michigan
residents to ask the about issues that they cared
about -not just whatthe pundits thoughtthey
should care about.
The new town-hall format for the debates pro-
vided similar opportunities for Bush and indepen-
dent candidate Ross Perot as well. Presidential
candidates, once deemed too distant for approach,
were suddenly dropped in a situation where they
were forced to answer to disgruntled citizens.
This election year, however, was not perfect and
it did have its flaws. Possibly regretting its focus on
the Flowers and draft scandals, as well as Vice
President Dan Quayle's potato gaffe, the media
appeared to back off from serious investigation. All
of the candidates avoided the hard-ball Sunday
morning programs, opting instead to appear on
Larry King Live. (Perot regretted his appearance on
NBC's Meet the Press after a spat with the host.)
The press was short-sighted in allowing the candi-
dates to avoid real scrutiny. Iran-contra didn't ap-
pear in the newspapers until the final days of the
campaign, and few in the media tried to force
Clinton to explain his fudged mathematics.
Overall, however, the 1992 election was a good
break from those of the previous decade. Wounded

Friends, Romans, countrymen ...

In the year 33 C.E, Roman Em-
peror-for-Life Julius Caesar was
stabbed 57 times with spears. This
was the first recorded use of the
term limitation.
Today, we are still looking for
other, non-spear methods of limit-
ing the terms of our political lead-
ers. Last week, voters in Michigan
and 13
other states
voted to en-
act termJ N '
on state A
tives and-
T h e
problem is older thn civilization
itself. When prlr.ative hunter-gath-
erer tribes first became organized,

blood" into the leadership, the tribe
members would have to enact a
term limitation by beating the leader
to death with sticks.
In modern America, the prob-
lem has become more complex.
Many of our political leaders have
become so entrenched that sticks
would not necessarily be a fool-
proof way to remove them from
office. We need term limits.
Why not simply vote the in-
cumbents out of office, you may
ask. Well,wenever do.Essentially,
the only way for an incumbent rep-
resentative in Washington to lose is
to be photographed in a major na-
tional newspaper while attempting
to pay various members of the ani-
mal kingdom for sex.
In Michigan, along with most
of the country, voters enacted tenrn

cry for help: "Stop me before I vote
The problem with incumbents is
that after they've been in office for
a few years, they have nothing left to
say. Nothing new to add to the de-
bate. They keep repeating the same
things overand over again, andnosh-
ing good comes out of it.
This applies to other aspects of
life as well - not only political
leaders, but teachers, barbers,
fletchers, even newspaper colum-
nists. They have been at their job for
a while, and they really have noth-
ing different to add. They just fall
into a rut, and when they can't think
of anything new, they just fall back
on old, irrelevant ideas that nobody
wants to hear anymore. Essentially,
they're doing nothing more than fill-
ing up space.


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