Update: Ward 4 from MWL

Sarah Thiele

Voter turnout was low but that was not unexpected at Maple Willow Larch commons today for the Ames city council election.

Election official and Ames resident, Fred Bunce who has been helping with elections for eight years and has been at the MWL commons location for four years said that today’s turnout wasn’t unexpected.

“This is just typical of most of the elections we have for this particular location and I’m sure of the other ones that are on campus are all very slow,” Bunce said.

An hour before the polls closed MWL commons had seen just eight voters. Even with such a low turnout Bunce said he doesn’t think low student turnout is necessarily a bad thing.

“I really question whether it’s really good or not because typically a person could be running for an office such as city council and nobody knows him,” Bunce said.

Bunce also said that students are often not informed about the election or the candidates involved.

“Students are so busy with other activities that they don’t know about the issues,” Bunce said.

John Eatun, freshman in business, said that he didn’t vote in today’s city council election because he’s not from Iowa.

“I wouldn’t want to register here because I vote absentee for elections at home,” Eatun said.

Ashley Antle, freshman in art and design, said that although she was not registered to vote she would have voted if she knew more about the issues.

“I would like to vote here I just didn’t know anything about it,” Antle said, “I would have to research the issues before I would feel comfortable voting.”

Curtis Benge, freshman in pre-business, said that he didn’t know about the city council election but thinks that students should be more involved in local issues.

“Student’s are eventually going to be the ones in charge so it’s a good idea for them to learn what’s going on so they’ll actually be able to be involved with the city later,” Benge said.

Bunce said that although turnout is typically low for local elections he expects a much greater turnout next November for the presidential election because voters won’t have to be registered in Ames to be eligible to vote.

“Next year they can come in here whether they’re registered or not,” Bunce said. “A place like this is just going to be a zoo.”