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November 05, 1996 - Image 9

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1996-11-05

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ELECTION '96

The Michigan Daily - Tuesday, November 5, 1996 -9

tudent vote split between
five City Council wards

By Jeffrey Kosseff
Daily Staff Reporter
0 When students vote for City Council
members today, some say their votes
will not have great impact.
Ann Arbor is divided into five pie-
shaped wards that begin in the center of
the city and radiate outward, distributing
University students into all the wards.
"Among the five wards, student vot-
ers are dispersed mostly evenly," said
Deputy City Clerk Yvonne Carl.
"However, the 5th Ward has fewer stu-
nts proportionally."
Some say this even dispersion means
there are low percentages of students in
every ward, weakening the student
impact.
"I don't think the students are given
an equal voice in the city government
of Ann Arbor," said Nicholas Kirk,
president of the campus College
Republicans. "The best answer for
students would be to switch to an at-
rge vote. The top vote-getters in the
city would get the City Council seats,
and students would have more of a
voice."
An at-large election would eliminate
the ward divisions, and instead the top
vote-getters in the city would win coun-

cil seats. But some local politicians do
not agree with the idea of an at-large
election.
"If the vote was at large, people
would not have a specific member to
call if they had a problem," said
Christopher Kolb (D-5th Ward), City
Council member and Democratic may-
oral candidate. "I support the ward sys-
tem. It allows citizens to focus on two
members of council if they have any
concerns."
Councilmember Jane Lumm (R-2nd
Ward) agreed that an at-large election is
not a viable alternative.
"I am not sure it would work well if
we had an at-large election," Lumm
said. "In terms of practicality, it is good
to become familiar with your con-
stituents."
However, Lumm said the wards
should be redrawn to give students
more influence.
"I think we should look at creating
a ward that encompasses the area
where the vast majority of students
reside;" Lumm said. "Students' voices
are dispersed, and to concentrate that
voice would be most beneficial to stu-
dents."
Mayor Ingrid Sheldon said that while

there are some positives in an at-large
election, she believes students currently
affect the city elections in the ward
system.
"From my perspective, students have
a tremendous impact," Sheldon said.
"Historically, the ward system was cre-
ated to be pie-shaped to reflect the
diverse population of the city."
City Council member Jean Carlberg
(D- 3rd Ward) agreed that students can
affect the elections in a ward system.
"Some wards have more students
than others," Carlberg said. "However,
students can make a difference if they
choose to vote."
Probir Mehta, vice president of the
Michigan Student Assembly, compared
the equal division of student voters to
gerrymandering district lines in the
South to decrease the effect of black
voters.
"I'm not sure if it's intentional, but
the City Council should be more cog-
nizant of student voters;" Mehta said.
"It's a valid view to say students' views
are diluted."
If the City Council decided to redraw
the wards, they would not be able to
until the next census in the year 2000,
Kolb said.

Jevin Romney make final
campaign stops in state

LANSING (AP) - Democratic
incumbent Carl Levin and Republican
challenger Ronna Romney flew from
city to city yesterday, making one more
peal to voters for support in their bat-
e for the U.S. Senate.
Their appeals took them from the
Detroit area across the state to Grand
Rapids.
But candidates with more local races
also were busy knocking on doors,
stopping at plant gates and shaking
hands in diners to pull in more votes.
Voters heading to the polls today were
barraged yesterday with campaign ads
5nd calls urging them to vote.
* In Lansing, Levin told a crowd of
about 50 volunteers to keep working
right up until the polls close today to
help Democrats all down the ticket,

even though polls have shown him with
a wide lead over Romney.
"That turnout, that last vote, is
absolutely criti-
sr <s::.cal for

Democrats.
always is,"
said.

It
he

Afterward, he
told reporters he
was not slacking
off despite his
consistent dou-
ble-digit lead in
Levin the polls.
"T h e r e 's
never been an easy race for me. We
have always gone out, communicated
with people and we've worked right
up until the time the polls closed.

We'll be doing that again," he said.
"We don't put much stock in public
opinion polls and candidates that do, I
think, make a
bad mistake."
Despite his
cautious words,
Levin appeared
relaxed and
joked with
reporters, grab-
bing the micro-
phone from one
broadcaster and
Romney pretending to
interview him
about whether it was his last election.
Levin's schedule also included simi-
lar stops in Grand Rapids, Flint and
Detroit.

VOTE
Continued from Page 1
drew 64 percent of the student vote,
compared to the 25 percent taken by
then-President Bush. Only 11 percent
of students said they voted for indepen-
dent candidate Ross Perot.
Clinton received 44 percent of the
vote nationally and 48 percent of the
vote in Michigan. He was the first
Democrat to carry the state since
Lyndon Johnson in 1968.
In 1994, Daily exit polls indicated
that students strongly supported
Democratic candidates, unlike most of
the rest of the nation and the state.
According to exit polls, 61 percent of
students voted for Howard Wolpe, the
Democratic nominee for governor.
Only 38 percent voted for incumbant
Gov. John Engler.
The majority of students, 73 percent,
also supported Democrat Lynn Rivers
in her bid for a U.S. House seat. Rivers
is running for re-election to the House
today against Republican Joe
Fitzsimmons.
Ann Arbor Mayor Ingrid Sheldon is
also on today's ballot, just as she was
two years ago. Sheldon, a Republican,
won her bid for re-election but gar-
nered only 48 percent of the student
vote.

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