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May 01, 2000 - Image 9

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
Michigan Daily Summer Weekly, 2000-05-01

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fhe Michigan Daily Monday, May 12000 - 9
Voter registration made easier via Internet

By Rachael Smith
For the Duly
With competitive political races coming to a front
this November, the Federal Election Commission
and the Michigan Secretary of State have made reg-
istration easier for potential Michigan voters by
putting registration forms online.
Elizabeth Boyd, Communications Director for the
Secretary of State, said the SOS was the first agency
to make forms available on the Internet. Making pro-
grams easily accessible for the public "has really
been a big priority of ours," Boyd said.
Before March 30, when online registration was
implemented, the deadline for registration was 30
days prior to elections, Boyd said. With the new pol-

icy, voters must postmark their downloaded registra-
tion forms by the 30-day deadline.
The Michigan Secretary of State's policy is to
accept mailed registrations up to seven days after the
deadlines if the postmark is illegible, Boyd said.
Completed forms can be mailed to the appropriate
county clerk. If they mail the form in instead of
returning it in person, policy states that voters must
vote in person in their first election and cannot vote
by absentee ballot.
The Federal Higher Education Act, which
requires states to facilitate voting especially for
university students, also influenced the SOS pol-
icy. Boyd said the SOS has "taken as many steps
as possible to make (voting) easy for students."
But, she added, the policy was implemented to

make voting easier for all Michigan residents -
not just students.
In Michigan, a new law requires voting regis-
tration and driver's license addresses to be the
same. The new online registration form for
Michigan is combined with the change of
address form so that both cards can be renewed
at the same time.
Michigan residents submitting the form will be
sent a new voter registration card, as well as a driver's
license change-of-address sticker by mail.
Shari Katz of the MSA Voice Your Vote Task
Force said the group has plans to use the forms in
voter registration drives this fall. Forms will be made
available across the campus, in residence halls, and
in fraternities and sororities.

Katz said the task force will collect the forms and
deliver them to the county clerk, so students won't
have to worry about mailing them.
One of the group's goals was to "make sure (stu-
dents) understand that it's easy" to vote, Katz said.
When asked about the new availability of online
forms, LSA sophomore Julie Kern was undecided.
Kern, who has not yet registered to vote, said she
"probably wouldn't download and print off forms"
that she would still have to mail in.
Kern said she would support plans like the ones
outlined by Katz's group. "If they had some some of
booth set up where I could fill out the form and hand
it in, I would definitely do it," said Kern.
Registration forms can be accessed at
vwwwsos.state.nii.ts/elecion/vote.html

Safety increases as number of
runners drops at Naked Mile

By Daid Enders
Daity Staff Retsiiter
They sang "Hail to the Victors" as
they reached the Cube sculpture in
Regents' Plaza. They encouraged the
crowd to make noise. One rode a
unicycle. Another was in a wheel-
chair.
And none of them were wearing
clothes.
Estimates are that no more than 400
people participated in this year's
Naked Mile - down from last year's
number of between 400 and 800 -
but they did not lack enthusiasm. The
14-year-old run that celebrates the
end of winter classes drew a crowd of
about 10,000 spectators, similar in
size to last year's, said Department of
Public Safety Spokeswoman Diane
Brown.
"The number of runners was down
dramatically," Brown said.
That could be because the Ann Arbor
Police Department made good on a
threat to arrest runners this year for
indecent exposure - something they
have never done in the past.
In a written statement, the AAPD
said their officers made four arrests -
three for indecent exposure and one for
malicious destruction.
There vere also a "number of
potential participants" who cooper-
ated when officers told them not to
disrobe.
Brown said DPS officers made 10
arrests for "various alcohol violations"
and one for a concealed handgun. But
officers said the crowd was more sub-
dued than it has been in past years,
despite its size.
"It's bigger" said DPS Lieutenant
Joe Piersante as he stood near the cube
in Regents' Plaza. "It's Friday night,
nice weather, but for the most part, (the
crowd's) pretty good."
The runners started around I1 p.m.
- later than usual. Security volun-
teers said the later start was possibly
due to traffic on South University
Street. But drivers were forced to find
an alternate route when safety volun-
teers took it upon themselves to block
traffic.
"If we don't stop cars from going
th roug h. someone's going to get

"I feel great. Invigorated and liberated.
But I need some clothes."
- Damon Brunson
Engineering senior

hurt," said Bill Wahl, an
Engineering junior, as he stood in
the middle of South University
Avenue near Church Street.
Traffic was also stopped on South
State Street, where the run's route
crosses in front of the Michigan,
Union.
Other safety concerns, particularly
the groping of female runners, seemed
to be cased by this year's Naked Mile.
There appeared to be a smaller percent-
age of women in the run this year, and
DPS received no reports of sexual mis-
conduct.
"A number of people going by
said 'No one touched me,"' Brown
said.
The women that did run said they
took precautions against both groping
and persons filming the event, which
have become major concerns over the
last few years.
"The students that were on either side
made it totally safe," said one senior
girl.
"I'm disappointed that more people
didn't run," she added. "I squirted the
cameras and people cheered."
Another senior girl ran with two
of her best male friends on either
side.
"One person slapped my ass," she
said. "But I felt safe for the most
part."
The event had an overwhelming
sense of jubilation to it, contradicting
the debate that has surrounded the run's
safety and the manner in which laws
would be enforced.
"I feel great," said Engineering
senior Damon Brunson immediatelv
before turning cartwheels for the crowd
on the lawn in front of Angell Hall.
"Invigorated and liberated. But I need
some clothes."
"I think its all done in good spirit,."
said a California man who was visiting
campus with his son, a prospective
freshman. "I saw all these people. Only

when I got here I saw people running
butt naked."
Others agreed that the run is a more
harmless tradition than some say.
"I would hope (the police) have got
better things to do than arresting stu-
dents," said a 1958 University alum and
Ann Arbor resident. " If anyone here
was going to be offended they'd go
someplace else. We do have real crime
problems in Ann Arbor, and this isn't
one of them."

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