Voter turnout in the Iowa City area is on pace to set an all-time record as the city’s residents are deciding whether to keep an ordinance that bans people under the age of 21 from Iowa City bars.
Iowa City is home to the University of Iowa — the state’s largest university — and a record number of “early” votes were cast before today. Johnson County Auditor Tom Slockett says voting this morning was slow in precincts in Iowa City and the rest of Johnson County, but it picked up this afternoon.
“We do have an indication that some of the increase in turnout at this hour is students,” Slockett says. “We have a lot of on-day registrations, but there’s large turnout in precincts that aren’t students.”
According to Slockett, the participation among students in the Iowa City area likely will be about double what it was in 2006 when just shy of 5000 people between the ages of 18 and 24 voted in Johnson County.
Over 25,000 “early” votes were cast in Johnson County, and Slockett says the vast majority of those early voters were not students, but senior citizens. “The highest percentage of registrants by age were 65 and older, at 58 percent of registrants who voted early,” Slockett says. “And the next highest is the 50 to 64 year olds.”
About 37 percent of the 18 to 24 year olds who are eligible to vote in Johnson County cast an early ballot this fall — and while that doesn’t equal the voting performance of the older voters, it’s still a record turn-out for younger voters.