Absentee requests continue ahead of Linn Co casino vote - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Absentee requests continue to pour in ahead of Linn County casino vote


Workers at the Linn County Auditor's office have their hands full with absentee requests.

"Yesterday we had 1,100... 2,000 the day before, 1,400 the day before.  It's pretty unusual," said Linn County auditor Joel Miller.

Wednesday another 600 absentee ballot requests funneled in just in the morning, a pace maybe never before seen for a special election.

"I think this one may break all the records," Miller said.

Early voter turnout has been steady as well as Linn County residents like Carol Andrle have been passionate on the issue.

"My mind was made up on this well before," she said.

The strong interest is an early indication casino supporters and opponents have been successful at reaching voters with their messages.

Now the debate has shifted as each side continues to battle its way to the finish line.

The "no" campaign is being questioned why it took until Tuesday night's debate to publicly admit it is being financially backed by outside casinos.

"Our door is always open to the public, and from day one, we've said it's a three part coalition- the small business owner, the religious segment, and frankly there are casinos around the state that see the gambling industry has already been fully saturated," said Michael Richards with "Just Say No Casino."

Meanwhile, the "yes" group is facing criticism after only allocating the state minimum three percent of its gaming revenue to non-profits.

"Communities where it's negotiated up have had license agreements in place for a long time.  The first thing that has to happen here after the racing and gaming commission allows a license, is first you have to become a profitable entity," said Marcia Rogers with "Vote Yes Linn County."

Both sides are working for every last vote as decision day rapidly approaches.

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