School Board Election ~ Tuesday, May 5th

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Polls will be open Tuesday, May 5th, 7 a.m. ~ 8 p.m., for the Ann Arbor Public School Board election. The League of Women Voters candidate forum will be rebroadcast tonight on CitiTV, CTN Cable Channel 19 at 7 p.m. Several Washtenaw County school districts have School Board elections as well. Don't forget your photo ID when heading to the polls.

School Board Candidates: Get to Know Them!

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CitiTV Channel 19 will televise the Ann Arbor Public Schools Candidate Forum live from the new CTN studios on Monday, April 20, at 7 p.m.. Unopposed candidates Glenn Nelson and Irene Patalan and new candidate Ravi Nigam will answer questions posed by the League of Women Voters of the Ann Arbor Area. And where will the questions come from? From YOU. Send your questions to the League at their Contact Page. The School Board election will be held on May 5, 2009.

Mirror, Mirror

Browsing through the New York Times the other day, I stumbled upon a piece that I did not even know existed: a blog by Errol Morris, one of the more compelling documentary filmmakers working today.
Early in his career, Morris made the documentary Fast, Cheap, and Out of Control about four people who do strange but interesting work like creating topiaries and studying naked mole rats. Later, he made The Fog of War in which Robert McNamara shared at length on his experience as Secretary of Defense during the Vietnam War. Most recently, he made Standard Operating Procedure which considers the photographs that were created at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq.
In all of his work, Morris creates unique and evocative images. He even invented a special camera for interviewing people that create the effect of his subjects speaking directly to the audience. Watching his films is different from watching anyone elses.

Inauguration Day - Past and Present

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Since George Washington's inauguration in 1789, the transfer of presidential power has become an American tradition. If the upcoming festivities have you curious about this time-honored ceremony, check out Presidential inaugurations for a light, yet concise, history of each president and their beginnings. (This book is great for fans of presidential trivia) The upcoming inauguration of Barack Obama, the 44th president, will commemorate the 200th anniversary of the birth of Abraham Lincoln with the theme "A New Birth of Freedom". For related historical information check out Lincoln's greatest speech : the second inaugural from the AADL's collection. Visit Barack Obama's official inauguration website if you seek more information about Tuesday's upcoming events. If you find yourself wanting to relive history, Bartleby.com has the full text of ALL Inaugural Addresses of the Presidents of the United States from George Washington to George W. Bush. "And so, my fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you—ask what you can do for your country."

Election Results

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Nov. 4th unofficial statewide results from the Secretary of State and county and local results from the Washtenaw County Clerk are online. Unofficial results for other Michigan counties are also available. For 2008 nationwide results with an historical perspective, check out the Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections.

View YOUR Sample Ballot Now

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Your sample ballot, from President of the United States right down to your City Council Ward candidates, is available now from Michigan Votes. Once you fill in the info on the opening screen you'll go to a page with a purple "View My Sample Ballot" button. There's a handy print feature on the sample ballot page too. Need more info on the candidates and proposals? Check out the League of Women Voters of Michigan Statewide Voter Guide and the MLive local candidate guide.

Statewide Ballot Proposals Analysis

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The most trusted name in non-partisan legislative research in Michigan, the Citizens Research Council of Michigan has produced analyses and summaries of the two proposals that will appear on the statewide Nov. 4 ballot. The MSU Extension Service has also produced a short analysis of the proposals. Proposal 01 would allow under state law the medical use of marijuana and Proposal 02 would permit--with certain limitations--stem cell research in Michigan.

Meet the candidates

This coming Wednesday, Oct. 23 at 7:30 p.m., The Old West Side Association will be sponsoring a fall forum where you can meet your current representatives: Rebekah Warren, state representative, Mayor John Hieftje and Mike Anglin, City Council member. You can also meet the Fifth Ward candidates: John Floyd and Carsten Hohnke who are running for City Council and Chris Easthope and Eric Gutenberg who are candidates for 15th District Court Judge. The forum will be held at Bach School.

Also, check out an inspiring collection of true stories in Your America by John Siceloff based on episodes of the PBS news program, NOW, about ordinary Americans making changes in their local communities.

Voter Guides Are Here

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The Michigan League of Women Voters 2008 Nonpartisan Voter Guide is now available at all AADL branches. The Guide covers all statewide elections and ballot proposals. The Guide also includes biographies and answers to questions for all candidates who responded. The League offers an online version of the Guide that includes the handy Clip & Take to Polls list. Polls open at 7 a.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 4th. Click here for more information on voting in Michigan.

Campaign Commercials

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Tired of all the presidential campaigning that's been going on for so incredibly long? Take a break from all the political ads with some...um, political ads. The Museum of the Moving Image has created an online exhibit that charts the history of presidential ads on television, beginning with Dwight Eisenhower's first commercials 56 years ago. The Living Room Candidate contains over 300 commercials from the last 15 presidential elections, with analysis of the themes that pop up over and over, election after election. Let yourself be charmed by 1952's singing cartoons or reminded that attack ads and calls for change as strategies to win elections are not recent inventions.

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