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May 14, 2007 - Image 3

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
Michigan Daily Summer Weekly, 2007-05-14

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

BILLS
From page 1
proposed legislation.
Novak and Thomas said creat-
ing a system where voters have two
addresses would be too complicat-
ed and expensive for their offices
to implement.
"We view these bills as a step
backwards," Novak said. "Right
now it's pretty simple - you have
one residence."
Novak suggested ways of
improving voting for students
including automatically regis-
tering 16-year-olds to vote when
they get their drivers' licenses to
eliminate the hassle of registering
after their eighteenth birthday and
allowing first-time voters to use
absentee ballots.
Novak said Warren's bills could
lead to an increase in voter fraud
and administrative errors because
they would make it more difficult
to track voters since the Secretary
of State would have them in its
database under two addresses.
Warren said her research
showed that voter fraud doesn't
pose a significant threat to the
state's voting process.
"It's not voter fraud that's been a
problem," she said. "What's more
been a problem is low voter turn-
out."
Washtenaw County Clerk Larry
Kestenbaum said he doesn't think
the Secretary of State concerns
about the bills are valid.
The bills would not make admin-
istering elections any more diffi-
cult for Michigan clerks, he said.
But Kestenbaum isn't in favor of
repealing Rogers's Law either.

He said he opposed the legis-
lation when it was first passed
because it seemed like a ploy by
Rogers and Republican legislators
to stifle student voters.
Kestenbaum said he now
approves of the system because
students are realizing that chang-
ing their permanent addresses
isn't complicated. The state auto-
matically changes people's driv-
ers' license addresses when they
register to vote at a new address.
"I think there was a bit of a bug-
a-boo that was created at first,"
Kestenbaum said. "Once people
got over the fear of having their
permanent address changed they
were comfortable with it."
Another concern Warren
brought up in her proposal was the
risk students face of losing their
health insurance. Once students
change their permanent address
from their parents' residence, their
status as their parents' dependant
is jeopardized.
Warren suggested a separate
voter identification number that
would follow voters if they move
within the state, but said she
would be open to a separate voting
address that the state would send
out on a sticker to be placed on the
back of a driver's license.
Public Policy junior Peri Weis-
berg, LSA sophomore Kalen Pruss
and LSA junior Neil Campbell tes-
tified at the hearing in support of
Warren's legislation.
Pruss said that when she worked
to register student voters last fall,
the main problem she encountered
was that many students are afraid
of losing their healthcare.
"There shouldn't be a fear," she
said. "(Rogers's Law) is an unnec-

essary obstacle."
State Rep. Tom Pearce (R-Kent
County) asked the students about
the possibility of student voters
altering local politics in a district
where they will likely only live for
a few years.
"The same things can be said
for voting in local districts," Pruss
said. "A lot of students don't imme-
diately move back."
University alum Pete Woiwode,
who chaired the Michigan Stu-
dent Assembly's voter-registra-
tion commission Voice Your Vote,
also spoke in favor of Warren's
legislation.
The state should encourage
young people to vote by making
the process easier, Woiwode said
PAST ATTEMPTS TO
REPEAL ROGERS'S LAW
In February 2000, the American Civil
Liberties Union filed an unsuccessful
lawsuit against Rogers's Law, less than12
months after it was enacted. Then-Mich-
igan Student Assembly vice president
Andy Coulouris represented MSA as co-
plaintiff along with studentgovernments
from across the state.
In September 2004, state Sen. Liz
Brater (D-Ann Arbor) proposed four
bills that would repeal Rogers's Law
and allow students to vote using an
absentee ballot in their first election.
The bills failed to be signed into law.
CORRECTIONS
Please report any error in the Daily
to corrections@michigandaily.com.

Monday, May 14, 2007
The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com 3
Red flags in the classroom

How profs deal with
disturbing
student writing
By LAUREN SLETE
Daily StaffReporter
In contrast to many high school
writing assignments in which ref-
erences to destructive acts earn
a student a pass to the school
counselor, college writing courses
allow students to explore life's
darker side more freely.
But in light of Virginia Tech
shooter Cho-Seung Hui's disturb-
ing work for a creative writing
class that many believe foreshad-
owed his violent behavior, the line
between creative self-expression
and a distressed warning sign is
more blurry.
Without an official policy to
determine the difference between
creative expression and psycho-
logical instability, the University's
creative writing professors are

left on their own when deciding
whether a student's dark or violent
writing warrants intervention.
English Prof. Keith Taylor
said aggression in student writ-
ing often reflects an interest in
violence common among many
people and isn't usually a cause for
concern.
"Eighteen-year-old boys love to
deal with things getting shot," he
said.
English Prof. Patricia O'Dowd
said she once encountered a stu-
dent whose behavior and violent
writing worried her and other stu-
dents in the class.
"I had the feeling he meant to
be intimidating both to me and to
the other students," she said.
O'Dowd kept an eye on the stu-
dent during class time and noti-
fied the English Department of her
concerns.
Taylor said that he would only
approach a student about the
content of a piece of writing if he
thought the violence in the writ-
See DISTURBING, Page 8

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