Arbor Update

Ann Arbor Area Community News

'Twas the Week Before the Election: Ballot Surprises

3. November 2008 • Juliew
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Ballot Surprises
While Publius.org is a great resource, even the most prepared voter can be surprised when they get to the polls.

Candidate names are always (often?) moved around on ballots to prevent the person on top from getting all the votes so your ballot at the polls may not look exactly like it shows up online. Make sure you know the names of your candidates, not just where they show up on the ballot.

Also some of the local items aren’t on the sample ballots. For example, the nonpartisan Washtenaw Community Collage Board of Trustees race doesn’t appear on sample ballots. Because it is nonpartisan, unless you know the candidates, it is hard to make a judgment. Some information on that race can be found here.

Do any of you know of any other races that don’t show on the sample ballots?

Be Prepared to Vote on Tuesday
Polls are open from 7:00am to 8:00pm. You must be in line by 8:00pm if you are going to vote.

If you are a regular voter, bring your Michigan driver license, or be prepared to sign an affidavit saying you don’t have ID with you. If you are a first-time voter, you must bring ID showing your current address. These include a current and valid photo ID (MCard, driver license, etc.), a paycheck stub, utility bill, bank statement, or government document that lists your name and address.

Remember not to wear any partisan clothes or buttons to your polling place. Yeah, it might seem like a silly rule, but it was upheld in court and is intended to keep the polling places free from voter intimidation, which is a worthy cause.

Need a Ride to the Polls?
“The Peace Neighborhood Center will transport any Ann Arbor residents who want to vote from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Rides will be offered on a first-come, first-served basis. Residents should schedule rides in advance and must know where they need to vote. For more information, call the center at 734-662-3564 or e-mail info@peaceneighborhoodcenter.org.”



  1. “If you are a first-time voter, you must bring ID showing your current address. These include a current and valid photo ID (MCard, driver license, etc.), a paycheck stub, utility bill, bank statement, or government document that lists your name and address.”

    They were not interested in my Mcard at the polls in August — the pollworkers do not consider an Mcard to be a valid photo ID. Bring a driver’s license or state ID card, preferably from Michigan (they also don’t like out of state ID, but with the utility bill it should be okay).


       —S.    Nov. 3 '08 - 05:51PM    #
  2. Apparently word didn’t get down from the Clerk’s office to poll workers:

    Voter Photo ID Required on Election Day

    Voters in the State of Michigan are now required to present a valid photo identification at the polls on Election Day in order to vote! This change is due to a recent State of Michigan Supreme Court ruling – In re REQUEST FOR ADVISORY OPINION REGARDING CONSTITUTIONALITY OF 2005 PA 71 (Docket no. 130589).

    Effective with the November 6, 2007 City Election and every election thereafter, before being given a ballot, each registered voter will be required to present an acceptable form of picture identification. If a voter does not have an acceptable picture identification card OR does not bring identification to the polling place, the voter will be required to sign an affidavit before an election inspector stating so, in order to vote.

    Voters may satisfy the picture identification requirement with any of the following documents, as long as they are current:

    Michigan driver’s license or personal identification card
    Driver’s license or personal identification card issued by another state
    Federal or state government-issued photo identification
    U.S. passport
    Military identification with photo
    Student identification with photo from a high school or an accredited institution of higher education (Attention UM students: Bring your M-Card!!!)
    Tribal identification card with photo
    IMPORTANT – Voters without ID will not be turned away on Election Day! Any voter not possessing valid ID on Election Day can sign an affidavit in order to vote.

    http://www.a2gov.org/government/city_administration/City_Clerk/Elections/Pages/Elections.aspx


       —John Q.    Nov. 3 '08 - 06:44PM    #
  3. At the primary election, I witnessed the following “correct” application of the Voter ID law.

    When the potential voter was asked to show his picture ID, he refused to show it. He didn’t say he didn’t have the ID on him, he just refused to pull it out of his pocket. He became upset, and insisted that the election worker didn’t have the right to make him show his ID. He made several allusions to “Big Brother” and seemed paranoid of what he was being required to do. The worker knew the person, as evidenced by the fact that he referred to him by his first name several times during their heated exchange, which lasted for several minutes. The man finally left, without casting his vote.

    The election worker was applying the ID law correctly, as it only allows the voter to sign the affidavit if he/she claims to not have a picture ID on their person. However, there was no question that the election worker knew the man was who he said he was. So in this case, the Voter ID law didn’t serve its intended purpose of preventing voter fraud. Instead, it prevented an otherwise eligible voter from casting his vote.


       —Michael Schils    Nov. 4 '08 - 02:21AM    #
  4. The intended purpose of the Voter ID law is to slow down voting, increase waiting times, and discourage Democrats from voting. It has absolutely nothing to do with “preventing voter fraud”.


       —Larry Kestenbaum    Nov. 4 '08 - 02:24AM    #
  5. You are of course correct, Larry. I should have used the word “purported” rather than “intended”.


       —Michael Schils    Nov. 4 '08 - 02:53AM    #
  6. Well, the results of my last-minute cramming give me a straight democratic ticket except:

    Trustees of MSU: I can’t find a single google hit on “Diann Woodward”, the second democratic candidate, so I guess it’s Romney (incumbent republican) and Byrun (democrat). Help?

    Wayne State Governors: again, I don’t expect a huge campaign, but couldn’t you at least finish your web page?. And I don’t see how campaigning against childhood obesity really qualifies you to serve on a university board, but at least she seems to be trying. So: Karmanos and Massaron (the incumbent democrat). Unless someone can tell me something about Pollard.

    Otherwise the democrats all looked fine to me.

    Other stuff:

    WCC Trustees, pick 3: Rutledge, Williams, and Martel. Of the non-incumbents, Martel seemed to have the better resume, based on a quick skim.

    I suppose I’ll vote for Gutenberg, but it’s basically a coin flip.

    The Free Press’s Taylor endorsement must set the record for most backhanded endorsement ever. So I guess it’s Hathaway for supreme court, even if they may be right about her resume being a bit thin.

    22nd circuit court: pointless, but I suppose I’ll vote for the two that actually claim to be running (Shelton and Swartz), for what it’s worth.

    08-1, medical marijuana: no. I’d be sympathetic to a more general argument about decriminalization, but the attempt to paint it as a medical thing just seems too cheesy. I dunno.

    08-2, stem cell research: yes. I guess the argument goes something like: 1) I don’t want to distinguish between a baby and a fetus, 2) I don’t want to distinguish between a fetus and an embryo, 3) using something I can’t distinguish from a baby for research is evil, 4) using an embryo that was going to be tossed anyway is still evil. Somewhere in that chain of logic, common sense got lost. I’m guessing right around the first two steps.

    A: Parks millage: yes

    B: require referendum for parks sales: no. I suppose it doesn’t really matter, but it seems like a pointless exercise to me. HD did a nice summary.

    H: WCC millage: yes

    Mainly of course I’m just happy to be voting for this guy. Also, some guy I work with endorsed him, and pointed out that this is a rather nice speech.


       —Bruce Fields    Nov. 4 '08 - 04:44AM    #