[Source: “Justice Center Early Voting Kicks Off,” KGAN-TV CBS 2, Wednesday, April 10 2013, 08:59 PM CDT]
IOWA CITY, IA (CBS2/FOX28) — Early voting kicked off in the special election for the Johnson County Justice Center on Wednesday — the second time the issue has come before voters in six months.
The first vote on this version of the proposed new jail and courthouse renovations was defeated in November of 2011, but the county created a scaled-down version of the project and brought it back to voters.
One of those voters was Bob Laudie, 93, who didn’t let his age get in the way of heading to the polls. Laudie said he’s voting early because he cares about the future of Johnson County.
“Iowa City’s growing and the area (is growing), and it’s going to continue to grow,” Laudie said.
Laudie thinks the new jail will be necessary to account for all of that growth.
“I think the need’s going to be increasing, because as more and more people are out of work, crime’s going to increase,” Laudie said.
While Laudie is someone who supports the jail, Auditor Travis Weipert said the anti-jail committee has been doing a lot of leg work to get voters out, too. The group petitioned for a satellite voting site at the Iowa Memorial Union at the University of Iowa to try to get more students to vote.
Satellite spots will also be open at the Iowa City Public Library and The Old Capitol Mall to give students more access, as well.
Weipert said he thinks the turnout will ultimately come down to how many people the pro-and-anti-jail groups can get to come out for their side.
“I think a lot of people have stuff they can latch on to with this election and feel passionate about,” Weipert said.
The county has 17,000 ballots on hand for the election and roughly 50 people voted as of Wednesday afternoon.
“We’re positive, we’re hopeful that we’ll get a good turnout,” Weipert said.