Satellite voting locations could sway 21-ordinance turnout; dorm - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Satellite voting locations could sway 21-ordinance turnout; dorms serving as voting locations

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Not many people have cast early ballots in Johnson county---yet. That's expected to change soon as satellite voting locations open including several buildings on the University of Iowa campus.

"If you can prove you're eligible to vote in Iowa we can see large turnouts at the dorm," Travis Weipert, Johnson County Auditor. 

Especially when there's an issue directly impacting students. At stake-the ordinance that says you must be 21 to stay in a bar after 10 p.m.

"There's like DJs and you can dance and sometimes there's like artists that you can go see and if you can't be there after ten you can't see the artist that you want to see," said Melissa Collins, UI Student. Collins will turn 19 in a few weeks. She plans to vote---and can do so in her dorm.

Those who say "21 Makes Sense" hope that by making voting easy for students those in favor of the ordinance will also show up to vote.

"It will be interesting to see how the students who weren't here before 2010 think about this issue," said Tom Rocklin, Co-chair of 21 Makes Sense and Vice President of Student Affairs at the University of Iowa.  'Many of them, I think, if they knew what things were like before 2010 wouldn't want to return to that climate."

Those trying to repeal the ordinance wanted many satellite voting locations on campus. The auditor's office sat down with both sides to come up with a schedule.

"We try to go to spots where we can get good voter turnout," said Weipert. "Of course both sides know where their people vote so they, you know, they want spots and we try to accommodate those high voter turnout areas for each side."

Who shows up to vote could make the difference this time around. In 2007 voters decided to keep 19 and 20 year olds inside. Three years later 21 and over became law.

We reached out to Young Adults for Equality and Safety. That's the group in favor of repealing the ordinance. They said they didn't want to comment Wednesday but would be willing to talk to us in the coming weeks. We'll try to catch up with them before election day.

Early voting is underway for all Johnson County races at the auditor's office. For satellite voting dates and times, click here.

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