Official results confirm election standings


Graphic: Azwan Azhar/ Iowa State Daily

The official results for the 2013 Ames City Council Election. These values are the number of votes that the candidates received based on the final vote count released on Nov. 7.

Emelie Knobloch

Steffen Schmidt, university professor of political science, said students were encouraged to vote, but again the numbers were low, which is common for students in city elections.

“On the ballot were mayors, initiatives in various states and many other local public offices, like City Council races,“ Schmidt said.

The final official results — including absentee ballots — for the city elections were released Thursday after the canvass.

Ann Campbell received 4,021 votes. There were 178 write-in votes for a total of 4,199 votes.

Schmidt said the term “off-year” election refers to elections that are in odd-numbered years.

“The outcome was overall a reaffirmation of the same general position by City Council members as the previous council,” Schmidt said.

For 4th Ward, Chris Nelson received 525 votes and Victoria Szopinski received 465 votes for a total of 995 votes.

Monica Diaz, president of ISU Democrats, said she believes a lot of students don’t feel the need to vote because they figure they are not living in Ames for long.

“Students don’t really know what the City Council does or how City Council impacts them,” Diaz said.

The purpose of the canvass is to account for every ballot cast and ensure that every valid vote cast is included in the election totals, according to the Story County website.

For the at-large position, Amber Corrieri won the election with 2,276 votes. Anne Kinzel received 2,168 votes for a total of 4,461 votes.

Jonathon Laudner, ISU Republicans president, said he believes students don’t think City Council decisions affect them when these decisions actually directly impact students.

Gloria Betcher received 809 votes while Justin Dodge received 615 votes.

Schmidt said these elections rarely feature any election to a federal office, few state Legislature elections and very few gubernatorial elections.

“The fear that was spread before the election about zoning rules, I am told, was “fear mongering” and that none of the candidates running, including the unopposed mayor, were planning to do anything to these houses,” Schmidt said.

Peter Orazem received 607 votes of the total 627. There were 20 write-in votes.

Schmidt said there are some “pro-growth” members of City Council and some “responsible growth” members of city council who want to see more limited housing in particular.

Pro-growth refers to advocating the commercial development of land.

Responsible growth refers to growth with a more selective process in developing land.

Tim Gartin received 1,151 votes while Francis Todey received 164 write-in votes. There were a total of 1,356 votes.

“I feel that both Anne Kinzel and Victoria Szopinski’s campaigns were greatly impacted by the miscommunication,” Diaz said. “A lot of absentee ballots were sent in before the clarification was made.”

Diaz said she believes Szopinski’s former district being cut in half also led to a loss of support.

“After students got their first impression, there was not a lot of change,” Laudner said. “After that, people weren’t listening.”

More efficient communication between ISU students and City Council could have potentially increased the student voter turnout.

“City Council has often talked about coming to GSB meetings, but that only benefits GSB members,” Diaz said. “City Council could have more student forums and have a meeting in the Memorial Union to encourage student participation.”