The polls open at seven o’clock this morning for Iowa’s primary election. Turn-out in Iowa’s major party primaries is usually between 10 and 15 percent of registered voters. Dianne Bystrom, director of Iowa State University’s Center for Women in Politics, says the economy and education have been the top issues motivating Iowa voters in the past several election cycles.Bystrom says voters are frustrated after the last two legislative sessions and the impact of the budget cuts. She says it’ll be interesting to see if the frustration turns into more interest at the polls. Bystrom says the campaigns have a pretty good idea of just who will be voting today.Bystrom says the most active members of political parties are generally the ones who vote in the primary. Bystrom says when Iowa voters look at their ballot today, they are more likely than in the past to see a woman’s name.There’s a 39 percent increase in the number of women who’re running for the Iowa Legislature. The largest turnout in modern history came in 1994 in the republican primary battle between Terry Branstad and Fred Grandy. Over 315-thousand voted that day. Election officials expect a little less than half that many to vote today.
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