Arbor Update

Ann Arbor Area Community News

‘Twas the Week Before the Election: General Information

27. October 2008 • Juliew
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Next Tuesday, November 4 is the most anticipated election in recent history. While the presidential election is the big draw, make sure you find out everything that will be on your ballot before you go to the polls so you can make informed voting choices (do you know who you are going to vote for as Justice of the Michigan Supreme Court? Or Wayne State Regent?). In addition, lines for voting are expected to be long. Make arrangements now to leave time available for next Tuesday (as much as several hours just in case) . The polls will be open from 7:00am to 8:00pm.

To find a sample ballot, your polling location, and a list of FAQs, check here or here.

The Michigan League of Women Voters has a voter guide for Michigan issues here and a very helpful FAQ (especially for new voters).

The Citizen’s Research Council of Michigan has non-partisan information on the ballot proposals.

University of Michigan Regent’s Candidates are listed here.

Voting Tips for College Students
Publius.org has a great site on voting tips for college students. Don’t get caught unprepared at the polls, especially if this is your first time voting. Read the information now so you aren’t surprised later.

The .pdf file called City of Ann Arbor Voter Tips and Polling Location Information has a lot of helpful information.

Absentee Ballots
If you fit certain criteria (60 or older, unable to vote without assistance, expecting to be out of town, unable to attend due to religious reasons, in jail awaiting arraignment or trial, or working as an election inspector), you can do absentee voting. Your request for an absent voter ballot must be in writing and can be submitted to your city or township clerk no later than 2 pm the Saturday before the election. For detailed information, click here. (Note that if something should happen to you after Saturday and before the election that prevents you from voting, you can get an emergency absentee ballot from your clerk.)



  1. Apparently, 98% of people of voting age in Michigan have registered to vote.


       —Juliew    Oct. 28 '08 - 03:15PM    #
  2. I would seriously dispute that 98% of voting age Michigan residents are registered to vote. You would probably find that a substantial number of those people are dead, moved out of the precinct in which they have been registered, or are otherwise not duly qualified electors. Ann Arbor is likely one of the best examples of this where often less than 3% of registered electors vote in some precincts, often due to students who have failed to cancel their registration after completing their studies and leaving the state. The 98% figure is woefully misleading. I believe that County Clerk Larry Kestenbaum has alluded to this phenomenon in prior posts.


       —Mark Koroi    Oct. 28 '08 - 03:58PM    #
  3. MK: Correct about the deadwood, and the highly misleading 98% figure. Remember that the denominator also includes non-citizens, prison inmates, etc.

    However, compared with the old days, a very large proportion of Michigan residents who are really here (U.S. citizens who own cars, live at least a year at their current address, etc.) ARE registered. That proportion is close enough to 100% that it isn’t worth bothering with trying to register them. The ones who aren’t registered don’t WANT to be registered.

    On the other hand, young people (not just college students), non-drivers, and the recently moved may need help getting plugged into the election system.


       —Larry Kestenbaum    Oct. 28 '08 - 07:03PM    #
  4. Public thanks to Larry for standing up for the right thing in his efforts and those of county clerks across the state to enable college students voting for the first time to vote absentee. The attempts by Mike Bishop and Mike Cox to throw up roadblocks in the way of these voters is disgusting but what I would expect from those two. The implication by those clowns that the county clerks and their employees were in some way abetting voter fraud just shows how low class they are in their behavior. Keep up the good fight Larry.


       —John Q.    Oct. 28 '08 - 10:26PM    #
  5. If you wear your “I Voted” sticker to the Michigan Theater on November 4, you can get in free to any screening that night. They will track the election results all night long on the lobby TVs.


       —Juliew    Oct. 29 '08 - 08:10PM    #
  6. Election Night: everyone is welcome to come to the County Clerk’s office, 200 N. Main (NW corner of Main & Ann). Many local politicos will be there. Food will be provided, as well as complete local election returns, and national races via television.


       —Larry Kestenbaum    Oct. 29 '08 - 08:38PM    #
  7. I believe you meant the NE corner, Larry. I’ll try to stop by.


       —Steve Bean    Oct. 30 '08 - 04:40PM    #
  8. The NW corner has a party store on it, and they’ll probably be partying also, with a TV.


       —David Cahill    Oct. 30 '08 - 07:29PM    #
  9. And Ashley’s is also offering specials for voters, and there are also festivities at Arbor Brewing and the Corner Brewery including special brews just for the election. (Since I started homebrewing I pay more attention to these things).


       —Chuck Warpehoski    Oct. 31 '08 - 02:44PM    #
  10. Sorry about that. NE corner of Main & Ann.


       —Larry Kestenbaum    Oct. 31 '08 - 03:06PM    #
  11. It’s okay, Larry -we all know where you hang out!


       —Leah Gunn    Oct. 31 '08 - 06:42PM    #
  12. I would like to thank Larry Kestenbaum and his office for their fine job in reporting election results. Washtenaw County has the best organized website for election results of any county I have seen and is a big improvement over when Peggy Haines was County Clerk.


       —John Dory    Nov. 8 '08 - 10:02PM    #