2B - The Michigan Daily -Election '98 -Thursday, October , 1998
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The Michigan Daily - Ele
Votes counted quickly using modem technology
Sheldon, Kolb vie for
By H heaCer Wgo
For the ly
Have you ever wondered what happens to your
vote after the elections are over? Who sees it? Who
tallies all of the votes?
In Ann Arbor, votes are added at the end of the
election day by an optical scan system, Ann Arbor
Deputy City Clerk Yvonne Carl said.
At the end of election night, it's as easy as press-
ing the "totals button," Carl said, and the votes are
automatically tallied. They cannot be changed and
no further votes can be placed.
Then, "each precinct reports back to the county
clerk" with the totals, Carl said.
Self-service voting is easy for those who can
make the trip to the polls. But is voting more
complicated for absentee ballots? Not according
"Absentee (ballots) are transported and set into
the machine by poll workers," Carl said.
And although some jurisdictions count absentee
votes separately, in Ann Arbor, "there's no way of
distinguishing between absentee votes," Carl said.
The polls are usually operated by veterans, who
often work from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Gina Vollano, who retired from the University of
Michigan in 1995, has been working the polls forthe
last three years.
"My responsibility is just to verify the person
who's there to vote," Vollano said. Her duties
include checking each voter's name, address, and
Vollano said she had "friends who did it and they
enjoyed it" so she decided to try working the polls
herself. Plus, the polling site is close to her house,
The poll workers have a long day starting at 6
a.m. and sometimes lasting until 10 p.m.
"We don't talk about the election and we're very
careful about secrecy as far as the voters are con-
The polling expenence has been "truly a very
nice experience," Vollano said. "I've (made) friends
... it's really a congenial group."
Although candidates are not allowed to cam-
paign in the polling site in any way, they can print
totals tapes at the end of the day because these tapes
are available to the general public.
The 1998 Ann Arbor mayoral race will bring together two
candidates with seemingly similar goals for the city of Ann
And this isn't the first time Republican Mayor Ingrid
Sheldon and Democratic candidate Christopher Kolb have
done battle for the city's highest office. The two faced off in
the last mayoral election in 1996, when Sheldon won by a
"I am more willing to look at issues more broadly and try
to be the mayor of all the people," Sheldon said. "I have
worked in the community for a long time. The community
views me as someone who will listen and figure out a ratio-
nal solution to help them."
But Kolb says he is a more proactive candidate.
"The main difference between my opponent and me is
that she is willing to wait for things to happen, and I am
not," Kolb said.
One of the main issues of the campaign focuses on Ann
Arbor's downtown area. The recent closing of Main Street
News, Marty's Menswear and Schoolkid's Records, Kolb
said, has caused him concern.
"We need to make some good decisions about the busi-
nesses in downtown Ann Arbor," he said.
Kolb said specialty shops such as these are an essential
part of the downtown's atmosphere. National chain stores
are forcing out stores that have a history and popularity in
downtown, he said.
The chain stores "take advantage of what's on the streets
of our town, but do nothing to contribute to the uniqueness
of it," Kolb said.
One program Kolb has proposed would remove some
economic pressure for small businesses.
A real estate investment trust would allow Ann Arbor res-
idents to purchase shares in downtown real estate.
Essentially, the citizens would own the building, and could
then rent not to the highest bidder, but to the business who
"would most enhance the downtown," Kolb said.
Sheldon is also concerned with the downtown area and
more specifically with the high concentration of traffic
moving in and out of the area.
The city needs to better control the feeling of increased
pressure from traffic and speeding, Sheldon said.
"We need to get (traffic) through town in an efficient way
and encourage alternate forms of transportation," she said.
Another issue of importance to students is the city's rela-
tionship to the University.
"The relationship is improving, but people must remem-
ber that we are two different institutions with different mis-
sions and different types of funding," Sheldon said. "There
is definitely a willingness to have sincere conversations
(about the relationship). (University President Lee)
Bollinger has been good about inviting the city to
At one time, these discussions were held in the context of
a University and City Committee. The committee was
designed to be a forum for issues affecting both institutions,
but it included only some of the city council members.
Sheldon decided to let the committee gradually dissolve.
"The University and City Committee was very superfi-
cial and a waste of everyone's time," Sheldon said. "All of
the council is concerned about these issues and should be
But Kolb criticized his opponent for not supporting the
We need to "reconstitute the University and City
Committee. The mayor has allowed that to disappear," Kolb
said. "We need to realize how- important the city is to the
University and the University to the city."
Both candidates said that improving safety for University
students is an ever-present issue.
The most effective way is to renovate the city's infra-
structure to accommodate additional safety precautions,
such as dependable sources of lighting, Sheldon said.
But the financial implications of such a project could be
overwhelming, she said.
"Carrying out a special assessment for lighting improve-
ment would be a high expense that many residents would
have to pay," she said. "We must try to establish at least a
minimal level of safety."
The Ann Arbor police department and the University's
Department of Public Safety must combine efforts to ade-
quately serve both jurisdictions, Kolb said.
"It is important that DPS and Ann Arbor police to work
together," he said. "There is always room for improvement"
ALLSON CANTER/Da y
John Hochstetier, a Manchester School Board member, is challenging state Sen.
Alma Wheeler Smith (D-Salem Twp.) this year.
Smith efends her
state Senate seat
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By Nikita Easley
Daily Staff Reporter
State Sen. Alma Wheeler Smith and
Republican candidate John Hochstetler
will fight to the finish when it comes to
the Michigan Senate seat.
Running for a second term, Smith
(D-Salem Twp.) has stressed through-
out the campaign that she wants to
focus her efforts more on funding for
schools that are considered underprivi-
"We need more after-school pro-
grams and need to improve state fund-
ing for urban and rural areas," Smith
She added that more school coun-
selors also are needed in schools for
children who may come from broken
Her challenger, John Hochstetler,
has served on the Manchester School
Board for four years. Hochstetler said
his primary goal is also education. He
said he wants to implement a plan so
"all kids get a fair chance at school
He said he disagrees with the tuition
hikes of colleges that do not correspond
with the inflation rates of the state.
"It's a big mistake," he said.
Hochstetler also says he wants col-
leges to be held accountable for the
amount of money they spend.
Smith, another higher education
advocate, disagrees with Hochstetler
view of getting involved with
University funding andspending.
There are certain rules legislators
have to follow, Wheeler said.
"Universities have to abide by the same
rules and when they don't, we should
Smith said she too wants to provide
better funding for higher education, cit-
ing Governor John Engler's budget for
correction facilities and education was
the same amount.
Although she is an advocate of
affirmative action, Smith said she
thinks the admission policies of
Universities are "not the role" of legis-
latures. Her father is Albert Wheeler,
the first black mayor of Ann Arbor,
founder of the Ann Arbor chapter of the
National Association for the
Advancement of Colored People, and
one of the first black faculty members
of the University during the 1940's
helped to make changes for minority
professors students. Smith's support for
affirmative action stems in part from
the hard work her father and mother
devoted to make equal strides for
See SENATE, Page 4B
*i % 9'
Two experienced lawyers race to rep
Mayor Ingrld Sheldon and Ma
offce In the city for the seci
FaSt Ilnteret Access
Fresh Juice &
Sao die Bar
Granholm, Smietanka launch
"y Jas nStoWff
Daily Staff Reporter
The state attorney general is responsible
for preventing consumer fraud and ensuring
the criminal justice system is honest and fair.
So it's ironic that this year's attorney gener-
al race has degenerated into a mudslinging
campaign marked by misleading half-truths
and slanted attack ads.
Democrat Jennifer Granholm and
Republican John Smietanka have spent a
great number of years trying to put criminals
Granholm, a Harvard Law School graduate,
attained a 98-percent conviction rate as a fed-
eral prosecutor in the Eastern District of
Michigan. Smietanka was the U.S. attorney
for the Western District of Michigan and his
accomplishments include winning a case
before the Supreme Court.
The campaign began when the Michigan
Republican Party ran an advertisement asso-
ciating Granholm with Democratic guberna-
torial candidate Geoffrey Fieger's crime pro-
gram, said Granholm campaign manager
Chris DeWitt. A Democratic counterattack
questioned Smietanka's honesty and integrity.
"He's been saying she would favor releas-
ing 17,000 prisoners," DeWitt said. "That's
false. She does not support the Fieger crime
The ad campaign spurred retiring
Democratic Attorney General Frank Kelley, a
popular 10-term incumbent, to join the fray
on Granholm's behalf. He has spoken on sev-
eral commercials criticizing Republican
"It's a real shame they've lowered this cam-
paign in the mud and they've lied about her,"
DeWitt said. "The public is seeing through
Bad blood aside, both candidates agree the
attorney general's office - comprised of 40
separate divisions - should be changed.
"The crime division, in charge of gangs,
organized crime ... has only seven to nine
people assigned to it," Smietanka said. "For a
state of 9.2 million people that doesn't cut it."
Granholm said she too would increase the
crime division and added that the entire attor-
ney general's office must become better
equipped to deal with technology-related
"With the advent of the Internet, there is an
enormous potential for wrongdoing,"
Although Smietanka and Granholm have
similar plans to transform the office, the
cleavages between the candidates are well
Granholm is pro-choice, while Smietanka
is pro-life. He supports a proposed bill in the
state Legislature that would give all Michigan
citizens without a criminal record or a histo-
ry of mental illness access to a concealed
weapon permit. Granholm opposes this mea-
Smietanka and his campaign staff were
unavailable to comment on the advertising