Election law allows out-of-state
" students to vote at Mich. polls
The Michigan Daily - Friday, October 1, 2004 - 5
Continued from page 1
you needed a Michigan driver's license. I didn't know you
could use a student ID. I feel like some people would try
to vote but be confused about what they need to bring to
Students can also contact the Secretary of State's Office
and obtain a sticker with their current school address,
which they can put on their driver's license.
The ID restriction applies only to first-time voters
who registered by mail, and to voters who changed their
addresses by mail, Silfven said.
Pete Woiwode, LSA senior and co-chair of the Michigan
Student Assembly's Voice your Vote Commission, said he
thinks the law is unfortunate because it turns a lot of stu-
dents away from voting.
"The problem with the law is less the application of it and
more the confusion it has caused," Woiwode said. "It is a
law that hampers student voting rights and puts a myth out
there that students can't vote where they go to school."
To clear up the confusion, Voice your Vote has attempt-
ed to inform students of the law upon registration.
Mary Bejian, field organizer for the American Civil Lib-
erties Union of Michigan, said, "If students do not have
proper ID at the polling station, they can still fill out a bal-
lot and sign a legally binding statement saying that they
live in city where they are voting."
Bejian added that it is crucial for students to know that
in Michigan they cannot vote by absentee ballot in their
first election if they register by mail. They must go to the
polls where they are registered.
Bjian also described an instance in Washtenaw County
during a previous election in which students were told
they could not vote without a Michigan driver's license.
Because of this misinformation, some students left the
polling site and did not vote, Bejian said.
"The only person who can tell anyone they can't vote is
an official election inspector. If anyone is approached and
harassed, they need to report it to an official," she added.
"No one can tell anyone that they can't vote."
She stressed that every student should go to the polls on
Nov. 2, regardless of their residency status. "Voting has
gotten a bit more complicated, but it is important for stu-
dents to vote."
LSA senior Jeff Rezmovic helps Engineering freshman Jonathan Ko register to vote on the Diag yesterday.
MSA commission registers more than 5,000 student voters
Compiled from staff and wire reports.
The deadline for registering to vote in Michi-
gan is fast approaching - students have until
Monday to either register with the city clerk's
office or to postmark their mail-in registration
forms. With the looming deadline has come an
increased flurry of activity, both on campus and
across the state. Among the highlights:
Thousands of students registering to vote
The Michigan Student Assembly's Voice your
Vote Commission, a nonpartisan group, said it
* has registered about 5,000 students since the
start of the semester.
Additionally, the College Democrats report-
ed registering more than 1,000 people for the
upcoming election, while the College Repub-
licans have signed up about 150 voters. The
Republicans said the lower numbers were due to
the fact that most of the students at the Univer-
sity are liberal.
All three groups said they are registering
students no matter where their political sympa-
"It's important to register people in general,"
College Democrats member Susanna Groves
said. "We will register anyone who wants to
College Republicans chair Allison Jacobs
also said her group does not solicit students'
party affiliations, though most of the students
who have approached the group about register-
ing have themselves been members of College
Democrats sue Michigan Secretary of
The Michigan Democratic Party has sued
Secretary of State Terri Land, the state's top
election administrator, over a memo sent to local
officials in June. In the memo, Land said vot-
ers cannot cast provisional ballots - which are
given to voters with questionable eligibility and
inspected after the election - if they vote in the
wrong precinct, or subdivision of a community.
The state has one week following the election to
confirm the voters' eligibility.
The Democratic Party says votes must be
counted if they are cast in the voter's city or
township of residence, even if the voter goes to
the wrong polling place.
The 2002 Helping Americans Vote Act,
passed to clamp down on voter fraud, man-
dates that election officials refer to state law in
order to determine the validity of a provisional
The Secretary of State's Office has said it is in
full compliance with federal law. A hearing on
the litigation has been scheduled for Oct. 13.
Ann Arbor group accused of handing in
Public Interest Research Group in Michi-.
gan. an Ann Arbor-based nonpartisan advocacy
group, is the subject of controversy over faked
voter registration forms. Eaton County Clerk
Fran Fuller said all of her office's fraudulent
registrations - many of which lacked driver's
license numbers and at least one that was filed on
behalf of a dead man - were from PIRGIM.
Part of the problem may be the group's incen-
tive system, which awards employees who register
more voters. PIRGIM's state director Brian Imus
said the group is being more vigilant in confirm-
ing that all registrations are legitimate.
Agency would only aid black businesses
DETROIT (AP) - Council members in this major-
ity-black city have aligned themselves with an econom-
ic development plan that says immigration hurts blacks
and calls for a publicly funded development agency that
would benefit only black business owners.
The plan was commissioned by the Detroit City
Council and its basic tenets were endorsed by a major-
ity of the members. And though it seems unlikely to
be implemented because it lacks the mayor's support,
it has prompted intense debate in recent weeks. Many
community leaders say it sends the wrong message
about a city struggling to revitalize itself.
The plan was drafted by Claud Anderson, author
of a popular book on black economic empowerment.
Anderson, a former Detroit resident who abandoned
a plan in 1997 to go after a casino license in the city,
was paid $112,000 for the report and says he could be
involved as a developer in the projects he proposes.
Anderson gained a following in the black commu-
nity with his 2001 book "PowerNomics: The National
Plan to Empower Black America," which spent more
than two years as No. 1 or No. 2 on the best-seller
list of Essence magazine, which tracks sales at black-
His plan for Detroit calls for the creation of an all-
black business district - dubbed "African Town" by
some proponents after ethnic neighborhoods such as
Detroit's Greektown and Mexicantown. Under the
proposal, the city would use $30 million set aside from
Detroit casinos for minority business development to
fund grants and low-interest loans. "Blacks are the
majority in Detroit, yet they are continually treated
like a minority," Anderson wrote in the plan.
The plan, which was submitted to the council in
June, gained widespread attention only this month
after Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick met with Anderson.
However, a Kilpatrick spokesman says the mayor does
not support the development plan and was merely giv-
ing Anderson the same attention he would give any
-potential investor in the city.
City Council, on the other hand, has passed two
related resolutions in July. The first declared blacks
Detroit's "majority minority," and the other resolved
to create a development agency to administer the pro-
gram of loans and grants to black business owners.
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