Arbor Update

Ann Arbor Area Community News

eWashtenaw Election Results '08

Posted by Murph on 5. November 2008

For those not too riveted to the national races to care, (and not hanging out in person at the Clerk’s office) local results can, of course, be found at

At this moment, the site is reporting 0.64% of precincts reporting (yes, that’s less than 1%), but you can add it to the list of sites to reload obsessively.

Comment [49]

'Twas the Week Before the Election: Ballot Surprises

Posted by Juliew on 3. November 2008

Ballot Surprises
While 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”

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“Twas the Week Before the Election: Judges

Posted by Juliew on 31. October 2008

So you say you are a staunch Democrat or Republican? Planning on voting straight ticket? Sorry, you are still going to have to pay attention to the judgeships because they are on the nonpartisan section of the ballot and are not marked with a party designation. In theory, this is because judges are supposed to be nonpartisan and uphold the law, not represent voters. For a race like the 15th District Judge of the Distict Court race between Easthope and Gutenberg, party affiliation doesn’t really apply. However, the State Supreme Court race has definitely shaped up to be a “Republican” vs. “Democrat” race.

Michigan Daily coverage of “the ballot beyond Obama” with explanations of the judges is here.

The Voters Guide from the League of Women Voters has judge information.

State Supreme Court Judges
Incumbent judges in Michigan win most of their elections. However, there are a lot of people unhappy with how Cliff Taylor (originally an Engler appointee) has been carrying out his job. As the “Democrat” candidate, Hathaway has lots of support in Ann Arbor, but how does that translate to the rest of the state? The three candidates are:

22nd Circuit Judge of the Circuit Court
The race for the 22nd District Court is particularly interesting because one of the people on the ballot, Douglas B. Shapiro, doesn’t actually want to run. There are three names on the ballot and two openings. The three names of the candidates are similar so it is possible that Shapiro could accidentally win. At least he is a legitimate candidate and is thinking about running in the future even if he doesn’t want to win this election.

Comment [46]

‘Twas the Week Before the Election: Proposals 1 and 2

Posted by Juliew on 29. October 2008

The proposed law would:

  • Permit physician approved use of marijuana by registered patients with debilitating medical conditions including cancer, glaucoma, HIV, AIDS, hepatitis C, MS and other conditions as may be approved by the Department of Community Health.
  • Permit registered individuals to grow limited amounts of marijuana for qualifying patients in an enclosed, locked facility.
  • Require Department of Community Health to establish an identification card system for patients qualified to use marijuana and individuals qualified to grow marijuana.
  • Permit registered and unregistered patients and primary caregivers to assert medical reasons for using marijuana as a defense to any prosecution involving marijuana.

The proposed constitutional amendment would:

  • Expand use of human embryos for any research permitted under federal law subject to the following limits: the embryos are created for fertility treatment purposes; are not suitable for implantation or are in excess of clinical needs; would be discarded unless used for research; were donated by the person seeking fertility treatment.
  • Provide that stem cells cannot be taken from human embryos more than 14 days after cell division begins.
  • Prohibit any person from selling or purchasing human embryos for stem cell research.
  • Prohibit state and local laws that prevent, restrict or discourage stem cell research, future therapies and cures.

Information on the proposals can be found at the following web sites:
League of Women Voters Michigan’s Ballot Proposals
Ballotpedia Overview of Michigan’s Ballot Proposals
Citizen Research Council Analysis of Ballot Issues
National Institute of Health Resource for Stem Cell Research
University of Michigan’s Press Release on Stem Cell Science

Comment [24]

‘Twas the Week Before the Election: General Information

Posted by Juliew on 27. October 2008

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 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.)

Comment [12]

Election '08's Impact on Michigan: The Candidates' Positions on Energy, the Environment, and the Economy

Posted by Juliew on 13. October 2008

Town Hall Forum
Tuesday, October 14, 7:00 – 8:30pm
Rackham Amphitheater
915 E. Washington St. Ann Arbor

The panel discussion will feature experts in the environment, energy, and economics for a discussion on how the policies of the presidential candidates will impact Michigan. They will be joined by advocates for both the Obama and McCain campaigns. Listen to the discussion, and ask your questions.

Democratic surrogate: Mark Brewer – State Democratic Party chair
Republican surrogate: Joe Schwarz – Former Congressman (Michigan 7th District)
Economy expert: Charles L. Ballard – Professor of Economics at MSU, Author of Michigan’s Economic Future
Energy expert: Carl Simon – Director of the U of M Center for the Study of Complex Systems, Professor of Public Policy, U of M
Environment expert: Ted Parson – Professor of Natural Resources and Environment and Professor of Law, U of M
Moderator: Jack Lessenberry, Michigan Radio’s Senior Political Analyst

The forum will be live-streamed on The event is free and open to the public, though registration is required. Click here to reserve your space.

The event is co-sponsored by the Center for Local, State, and Urban Policy, Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy, and Michigan Radio (91.7 WUOM in Ann Arbor)

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Register to Vote by October 6

Posted by Juliew on 2. October 2008

The last day for voter registration in Michigan is this Monday, October 6. Michigan residents will not be allowed to vote in the November elections unless they register by October 6 at 5:00pm. If you have changed addresses, you must make sure your registration is updated.

You can register to vote in several ways:

  • Walk through the Diag during the day. There has been a huge campus effort to register voters.
  • Stop by the Secretary of State’s mobile office which will be in front of the Michigan League today, October 2 from 9:00am to 3:00pm (they will be registering voters, but can also handle most other Secretary of State services).
  • Register in person Monday-Friday from 8:00am-5:00pm at the Ann Arbor City Clerk’s office on the second floor of City Hall (100 N. Fifth Avenue, (734) 994-2725).
  • For more information or if you want to see if you are currently registered, go to the Michigan Secretary of State’s web site. If you are not a Michigan resident, see the Election Assistance Commission’s web site for information.

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Candidate Debates Oct 13 and 14

Posted by Chuck Warpehoski on 18. September 2008

The League of Women Voters is organizing candidate debates for area offices including WCC Trustee, County Sheriff, City Council, and State House.

The debates will be broadcast on CTN Channel 19. You can see the whole schedule here.

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Candidates' Survey: Positions on Arts and Culture

Posted by Angela Martin-Barcelona on 30. July 2008

Thought this would add to the Voter Guide discussion:

The Arts Alliance conducted a survey of local candidates running for public office throughout Washtenaw County to learn their positions on arts and culture. The survey, conducted annually in advance of the primary and general elections, was distributed to candidates throughout Washtenaw County for the offices of state representative, county commissioner, mayor, city council member, township supervisor and township trustee.

The Arts Alliance received responses from 48 candidates in 24 of the 45 races that will be decided in the August 5th primary election. In addition, 8 candidates responded in races that will be decided in the November general election.

37 Democratic, 10 Republican, and 1 Write-In candidate responded to the 2-question survey (1. What is your position on public funding for arts and culture? 2. If elected, what measurable actions will you take to ensure that arts and cultural offerings survive and thrive in Washtenaw County? Please be specific.)

Candidates were given 2 weeks to submit their answers.
Among the findings:
• 30 candidates (25 Democratic and 5 Republicans) or 63%, expressed support for public funding for the arts
• At the County level, 48% of candidates (11) running for Commissioner responded to the survey
• In Ann Arbor, both mayoral candidates and 8 of 9 candidates for City Council responded to the survey

Click here to view the Candidates’ Survey: Final Report

ArborUpdate Sheriff's Race: Bielec vs Clayton vs Minzey

Posted by Nancy Shore on 30. July 2008

For the final installment of our ArborUpdate Voter’s Guide, we have the county sheriff’s race. Iva Bielec and Jerry Clayton both responded to our requests for comments, Sheriff Dan Minzey did not.

Comment [104] • Read More »

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