Democracy 101 … or,

1) VOTING IS A RIGHT. If you have trouble registering, the burden lies with the city to help you register correctly. For most people it’s a simple process, and I believe it the moral duty of all Americans.

2)REGISTERING AND VOTING IS EASY. Registering to vote involves filling out a card with your name and address and signing it. If you are registered elsewhere, there is a space to note that – or even check “I’m not sure!” The Voice Your Vote commission of the Michigan Student Assembly has forms available, and they’ll be in the basement of the Michigan Union next Monday from 12-3. The last day to register to vote for the November 5 election is October 4. After you register, you will receive in the mail information about where to vote. If you think you are already registered in Michigan, or want to see where you will go to vote, you can look it up online here. For most students, the nearest voting location is a nearby residence hall. Voting locations on Central Campus include South Quad, East Quad, the Michigan Union, and Markley.

3) IT DOESN’T MATTER IF YOU REGISTER IN TWO PLACES. As long as you notify the city you might be registered elsewhere, they’ll take care of the rest – this is not a reason to avoid registering!

4) IGNORE PROPOSITION 215. A few years back, a few antidemocratic Michigan legislators decided to require the voter registration address match your voting address. The law also requires first-time voters to vote in person: if you are voting for the first time, you cannot request an absentee ballot. If you are not from Michigan, this law doesn’t apply to you. If you are from Michigan, register here in Ann Arbor and vote in person. The state will send you a sticker to put on your driver’s license with the new address. If you don’t get the sticker, don’t worry: it’s their fault. If you let this law prevent you from voting, the Republicans may have already won.

5) WHY VOTE? Because Michigan is a swing state in presidential elections, the Ann Arbor City Council regards the student population as a source of parking ticket revenue, the Ann Arbor Police has been using overly aggressive police tactics, and because you don’t really follow what’s going on at home anyway. This election you’ll have the opportunity to vote for one of 4 current or recent U-M students to represent you in city politics. And by all means, if you have a really good reason to vote at home, request an absentee ballot as soon as possible.

For more information on voting in Michigan, and to see if you are already registered to vote, visit

Author: Rob