Voters share why they vote early


Biong Biong

Iowa State University students voting in Story County can use an Iowa State ID and Access Plus at the polls as forms of identification and proof of residence.

Early voting kicked off Friday, and Story County Auditor Lucy Martin said she is bracing for confusion from voters as election day grows nearer and nearer.

Martin said there have not been complications with the new voting regulations yet, but they may arise as the election draws nearer.

“Early in the election, that’s when you get, sort of, the more informed people,” Martin said. “So, as we get closer to the election, they’ll probably see more confusion. That’s just normal.”

Martin said voter turnout is in line with the last gubernatorial election of 2018, even if the compressed schedule is accounted for.

Sarah Hartman, a freshman majoring in pre-athletic training, voted for the first time Friday. She had already been registered to vote, which she said made the process easier.

“I thought it was really easy and accessible to go vote […], and I want to make sure that my vote got in before I didn’t get the chance,” Hartman said.

W. Roy Johnson and Gloria Jones-Johnson are Ames’s residents and former Iowa State University professors. W. Roy Johnson said he prefers to vote early because it is less stressful, specifically regarding providing acceptable identification.

“It has, in this town, been a little bit of a hassle sometimes,” W. Roy Johnson said. “So, it’s been my experience that [early voting] is just more convenient.”

Both W. Roy Johnson and Gloria Jones-Johnson said they were not negatively affected by the measures passed in 2021 by Gov. Kim Reynolds such as the smaller window to early vote, but Gloria Jones-Johnson said the restrictions could negatively bear down on those who do not have the privilege of time.

“And that’s a very important thing to add about both of us — we’re both retired,” W. Roy Johnson said. “So, now, we have more time. This might have been a bigger issue back when we were working.’

Michael Dwyer, a doctoral student in supply chain management, has voted by mail-in ballot before but voted satellite for the first time Friday.

“I had time [Friday], and I didn’t want to miss voting, so I was like,’I gotta take advantage of it now,’” Dwyer said.

Matilda Hogan, a junior majoring in biological and pre-medical illustration, casts her vote early for the security it provides.

“I’ve liked the confirmation that I have voted before the point,” Hogan said. “So like, if anything goes wrong on election day, I still have gotten my ballot in.”

Hogan said she votes because it is important to make sure she has the proper people representing her.

The next day of early voting is Oct. 29, at the Ames Public Library’s Farewell T. Brown Auditorium.