Arbor Update

Ann Arbor Area Community News

College Republicans to MSA: Don't Register Voters at Moore Talk

28. September 2004 • Rob Goodspeed
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Target: MSA members
Summary: Email from Ally Jacobs, president of the College Republicans,
concerning voter registration at the Michael Moore event.

Dear MSA Representatives and Campus Community:

It is my hope that this letter will serve to address my concerns regarding the Voice Your Vote Commission of MSA. I ask that MSA’s VYV Commission does not do voter registration at the Michael Moore event for two important reasons: the appearance of bias within the student government and the voter registration strategy. Each issue will be outlined as brief as possible in the following paragraphs.

Coming back to campus this fall, I was quick to find excitement in seeing November 2nd shirts proudly displayed across campus, naively believing that this Commission had one goal—to see the youth become involved in the political process regardless where they fall on the ideological spectrum. The non-partisan-at-first-glance image conveyed to new and returning students alike what the University has been trying to portray for years—that diversity of opinion is welcome at the University. Clearly the exemplary actions of many VYV Commission members have shown this principle, however others have not. While I will not go into details, and while I certainly appreciate Commission
members’ passion for politics and their passion for their choice of candidates, there are a few instances that show members’ view are seeping through the non-partisan barrier during voter registration. This weekend a group of politically active students outside the football game experienced this bias. There was absolutely no excuse for parading their views as representative of
the VYV commission, signified so by the November 2nd t-shirts they adorned and the clipboards in their hands.

Students all around campus are starting to feel like they constantly watch the political process on this campus through a liberal haze. Registering voters at the Michael Moore event tomorrow will only further the appearance of bias in MSA and in VYV Commission.

Furthermore, despite the appearance, registering voters and the Moore event would not be the most advantageous use of time. Those students who waited great lengths of time in line for tickets are most likely politically active already—most have made up their minds and are going to see Michael Moore in support or in abhorrence. The students that attend political events are already registered; they are the individuals who registered on their 18th
birthday. I suggest the best use of VYV resources would be to concentrate all human resources on targeting the dorms, to register those students who are less politically active, and to light the flame of activism as we continue to build up the future leaders of our campus community and our nation.


Allison Jacobs
Sophomore, LS&A
Chair, College Republicans
Alpha Phi Fraternity
University of Michigan

  1. ” I suggest the best use of VYV resources would be to concentrate all human resources on targeting the dorms, to register those students who are less politically active…”

    Sheesh. How much does it cost VYV to register voters at an event? While I wouldn’t oppose putting as many resources as possible in to registering students wherever they may be, free access to a huge number of students, all in one place and all showing an interest would seem to be an ideal and cheap way to nab the bunch that aren’t yet registered. I’m sure there are ready and willing volunteers to staff a registration table at the event …

    As for the appearance of bias, who cares? Would she oppose voter registration at a Bill O’Reilly (or other equally “big named” conservative speaker)? Register the students where they are, so long as you can find the volunteers to do it. When Moore comes, there will be a lot of students in one place… silly, silly.
       —Scott T.    Sep. 28 '04 - 03:31PM    #
  2. Same complaint as always. The old legend states that the more voters there are, the more Democrats will prosper (if only because their lip service gets heeded more often.) She’s objecting to the fact that their registering efforts will go toward registering the ‘wrong’ voters. Pretty lame…
       —Marc R.    Sep. 28 '04 - 04:38PM    #
  3. Man, this country has gone downhill since we started letting women and negros vote.
       —js    Sep. 29 '04 - 01:03PM    #
  4. MSA is supposed to be a non-partisan organization, by funding and registering voters at an extremely left wing event they turn themselves into a joke.

    And for the guy who said “Who cares” if they register people at the event. If Bill O’Reilly came to campus you bet we would register voters…but we would use College Republicans to do so, this so called independent commission of MSA is simply doing the Dems work for them.
       —Ben    Sep. 29 '04 - 04:45PM    #
  5. Arguments of convenience are quite possibly the least intelligent kind possible. And to be clear, I am saying that “MSA is simply doing the Dems work for them” is an argument of convenience.

    It’s just sad that people are focusing so much anger and resentment toward something (VYV) that neither deserves it, nor will be affected by it. There’s so little true passion in the world and people need to start focusing it on shit that matters.
       —Matthew Wright Hollerbach    Sep. 29 '04 - 05:11PM    #
  6. the college republicans are anti-michigan, and their choice to divide, rather than unite this campus only aids ohio state…

    fleeting silliness,
    ari p.
       —Ari P.    Sep. 29 '04 - 07:50PM    #
  7. Allison is right on, there is nothing wrong with registering voters, and it should be encouraged at every opportunity, but doing so at an event advertised to and attended by members of one end of the spectrum registers only one kind of voter. Every effort towards fairness should be made in a VYV effort, and if those critical of Allison truly believe that liberalism is the right and popular way, then a fair effort will still result in more liberal voters. What’s the harm in an equal access voter registration effort?
       —michael p    Sep. 30 '04 - 12:32AM    #
  8. I bet they’re just jealous that the majority of the nations youth do not support their cause. Maybe we should stop registering young voters becuase they are such a partisan voting block… Go cry somewhere else. This is Ann Arbor. It has been a liberal center of the country for years… Don’t like it? leave!
       —Adam    Sep. 30 '04 - 10:10AM    #
  9. You’re right, Ben! The VYV whould only register voters with no political opinions at all, to avoid any partisanship! In fact, the VYV shouldn’t register anyone who says that they’re going to vote, thusly denying any party the advantage!
       —js    Oct. 4 '04 - 11:58AM    #