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Use The Power

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i:kiia;i: vi With a primary coming up in just over a month, it's time again for voter registration. The deadline for registration to vote in the primary is January 17, only two week weeks away. To register, a person must be be eighteen (or reaching that age by February 17). and currently living in Ann Arbor. lt"s unlikely the Republicans will be ullowing door-to-door registration, which means individuals have to makc somc offort to get registered. At present, voter registrars are stationed in City Hall. at the clerk's office on the second tloor. Other sites include the Ann Arbor Public Library and all the public schools. Tiiis may be the last year people are lorced to trek down to some out-of-the-way place tor swearing in as a registered voter. The petition drive to pul door-to-door registration on the ballot Por voter approva] ended up with better than 4.Ü00 signatures, enougli to appear on the April ballot. f this proposal passes the city's electorate, people ín power will no longer be able to restrict voter registration to keep themselves in power. This ploy has been used continually by the Republicans over the pasi two years to reduce the numbers of students registered in Ann Arbor. The GOP-dominated Couñcil has repcatedly refused to place a voter registration site in the Fishbowl or in the dorms, where it would be easiest t'or students to get to. Mayor Stephenson claimed the rationale tor such a move was a student's right to decide whether to register either in herhis college town or at home. He argued it was unfairto use voter registration sites to unduly influente that decisión. The consequence has been that fewer students are registered. and older. moro voters have dominated the polls. Two other petition drives guarantee therc will bc more on the April ballot than just a lot of ñames. The Human Riglits Party filed completed petitions for city funding of child care and rent control with the city clerk today, each with over 5,000 signatures. (Somewhere around 3,600 valid ones are needed for the proposals to appear on the ballot.) Most controversial is likely to be rent control. Similar to a proposal landlords poured close to $50,000 into to det'eat last year. t lie rent control charter amendment is aimed at preventing landlords from charging excessive rents. At least some local Democrats have indicated that they believe this year's proposal is better than last year's, suggesting the Democratie Party may be more willing to officially back it. With two parties supporting rent control, it stands a better chance of becoming reality this time around.