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October 28, 2004 - Image 18

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The Michigan Daily, 2004-10-28

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5

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6B - The Michigan Daily - Election Guide 2004 - Thursday, October 28, 2004
Students rev up campaign as election nears

The Michigan Daily - Election Guid

hat the most important isLLEGE UNDE RGi

By Andrew Kaplan
Daily News Editor
An unusually balmy October day in
Ann Arbor yesterday begged dozens of
students to study outside, while teams
of student activists - who stopped
registering student voters after the Oct.
4 deadline - found new life to their
causes by making sure the students who
are registered actually hit the polls.
A host of organizations pitched camp
in the middle of campus to spread
information on how to vote
and solicit students' votes '
for specific candidates and -
issues, covering a range of
political stripes.
After registering more
than 10,000 new vot-
ers - about 2,500 more
than it recruited during
the 2000 presidential elec-
tion - members of the Michigan
Student Assembly's nonpartisan Voice
Your Vote initiative have increased their
presence on the Diag over the past two
weeks.
It's a mission that goes beyond hand-
ing out quarter-sheets and catching stu-
dents as they breeze through the Diag
on their way to class, although group
members continue to use these tac-
tics. Voice Your Vote yesterday set up
a mock "beer pong" table, with cups of
root beer and ping-pong balls embla-
zoned with the group's logo and Internet
address, "MGoVote.com," which stu-
dents can visit to find out their polling
locations and requirements for voting at

Ann Arbor polls.
Members have also received Univer-
sity permission to send a campus-wide
e-mail encouraging students to vote.
The Division of Student Affairs has
also allowed the group to hang one of its
banners on the outer walls of the Harlan
Hatcher Graduate Library, and members
have been trading shifts on the phones
to contact students in residence halls.
"Everyone says the main reason peo-
ple our age don't vote is because they
. forget," said Aaron Holman, Voice
Your Vote member and LSA
senior. "(On) this campus, it's
in your face all the time and
people still won't vote."
"There's been a big con-
cern about it," said LSA
senior Mike Forster, co-
chair of Voice Your Vote
and member of the Public
Interest Research Group in
Michigan, which said it registered
600 voters before the deadline.
Michael Anderson, an LSA sopho-
more with the College Democrats,
offered similar remarks. Manning a
table a few yards from Voice Your Vote
members, Anderson distributing fly-
ers, buttons and stickers in support of
Democratic presidential candidate John
Kerry.
"This is really just to (target) people
who are registered to vote, but aren't
planning to do it," Anderson said, eye-
ing passers-by and reaching to hand
them Kerry bumper stickers. He added
that his organization was trying to
"maximize voter turnout" and doing

"anything to increase (their) visibility."
"Visibility" would be a soft choice
of words to describe any group on the
heart of Central Campus yesterday.
Voice Your Vote members blasted
music to attract students to their table
on the center of the Diag. A member
of the Stonewall Democrats - the
LGBTQ arm of the College Democrats
- donned a sandwich sign that urged
students to vote "no" on Proposal 2.
The proposition would amend the state
constitution to ban same-sex marriage
in Michigan and possibly deprive same-
sex couples of the financial and legal
benefits that come with civil unions.
These students' engagement with
politics has put them in touch with
media and politicians across
the nation. LATimes.com,
the online version of the
Los Angeles Times, ran
a story on Voice Your
Vote on Oct. 10. The
College Democrats and s
Republicans have joined
with state-level party
officials to spread the word
about their respective candi-
dates, with both groups scouring for
votes door-to-door and making scores
of phone calls to prospective voters.
Finally, the Coalition for a Fair Michi-
gan -the principal organization lobby-
ing against Proposal 2 - has recruited
the Stonewall Democrats to assist in its
campaign.
Overall, students' intensity bolsters
the observations of many pollsters who
say that college-age persons are show-

Political events on campus
Voice Your Vote will hold a training session for students who
want to be poll monitors tonight at 7 p.m. in the Michigan Student
Assembly chambers on the third floor of the Michigan Union.
College Democrats will host a "Tailgate for Kerry" with Gov.
Jennifer Granholm, Saturday at noon at Elbel Field.
College Republicans will hold a rally in the Union Ballroom on Sat-
urday at 11 a.m. Must RSVP to aajacobs@umich.edu to attend.

Don't Know 2%
Other 2%
Taxes 2%
Health car

I

Education-

ing a greater interest in politics than in
years past.
According to a Sept. 30 survey by the
Washington-based research group The
Pew Research Center for the People
and the Press, "The percentage of
young people who say they
are registered to vote ...
has increased significant-
ly since 2000 - from 47
(percent) to 58 (percent).
The number who are reg-
istered is at the 1992 level
(60 percent)."
And activists are still look-
ing to draw more students into
the political process. Voice Your Vote
members say they will return to the
Diag every day until the election, in
order to ensure that students who signed
up to vote actually head to the polls on
Election Day.
The College Democrats, who said
they will also show up every day until
the election, will target homes across
the Ann Arbor area in their door-knock-
ing campaign, and will also seek to gar-

ner some last minute Kerry votes on
Election Day by engaging voters as they
head to the polls.
The College Republicans, who regis-
tered a few hundred students on campus
compared to the thousand or so signa-
tures collected by the Democrats, will
visit communities in the metro Detroit
area, such as those in Oakland County.
"While we'd love to get (University
students) out and vote and we encour-
age kids to go, our resources are better
used off campus where there are more
Republican voters," said LSA sopho-
more Allison Jacobs, chair of the Col-
lege Republicans.
Jacobs added that the door-knock-
ing campaign is part of a "96-hour
plan" with the state Republican Party
and other College Republican organi-
zations, which will continue today and
run through Tuesday. The effort also
includes phoning residents and driving
voters to the polls.
Jacobs said the College Republicans
will be on the Diag today, tomorrow,
Monday and Tuesday.

||

Situation in Iraq
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Health care-

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Washtenaw County Vote in 2000
Al Gore 86,647 59.8%
George W. Bush 52,459 36.2%

Economy',

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Feb.3, 2004 March 9,2004 March 25,2004 Aug.30 - Sept. 2,2004

I

Mini-Tuesday: Kerry
wins primaries in
Arizona, Delaware and
Missouri, and caucuses
in New Mexico and
North Dakota. Edwards
won the South Carolina
primary

Bush garners the number of delegates
needed to officially become the Republican
candidate for the presidency.

Having dropped
out of the race,
Dean endorses
Kerry for president

Republican National Conventio
New York- City.

r

I ------

-1

March 3,2004
Edwards drops out oftthe
race for the presidency
and endorses Kerry

1LW
March 11,2004
Kerry clinches the
number of delegates

I

Ir

i

------------------ -

I

k
July 6,2004
Kerry selects Edwards
as his running mate.
July 26-29, 2004

Sept.30,200
First presienta
debate airs.

March 2,2004

Super'Tuesday: Johbi Kerry wins nine (if 1.0
caucuses or primaries today, advancing
toward his nomination for the presidency.

necessary town the
Democratc nomination
for the presidency: 2,162.

Democratic National Convention in Bost

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -- - - - - - - - - - -

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