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Iowa State Daily

Vote from the comfort of Campus: Cyclone Votes

Owen Aanestad
A sign outside of Maple Residence Hall reads “Voting Location” on Tuesday Nov. 8, 2022.

The Daily caught up with Karen Kedrowski, director of the Carrie Chapman Catt Center, to answer common questions regarding voting on campus. Regular city and school elections take place Nov. 7.

The comments below the bolded questions are direct quotes from Kedrowski.

What is Cyclone Votes?

Cyclone Votes is Iowa State’s effort to engage students in the electoral process. We provide information about registration, absentee voting and how to research candidates who are running for office.

Can students vote from campus?

Yes, they can […] one of two ways. Number one is if they live in a precinct that has a polling place on campus on election day, they can vote in that polling place.

Now, there are about four polling places for different precincts that are actually physically on campus, but then [there are] a number of them that kind of rim campus that serve the apartment neighborhoods that are in campus town or immediately adjacent to campus.

Also, they may be able to vote on campus if there is an early voting location, which we have had for the last several elections. There’ll be information coming out about that if there is that opportunity.

For students who have never voted before, how can they get registered?

They can either download a form from the Secretary of State’s office or the Story County Auditor. If they want to vote in Iowa, they should go to the Secretary of State. If they want to vote in Ames, they can go to the Story County auditor’s office.

If they have an Iowa driver’s license, they can also register to vote online through the Department of Transportation. All of these links and information are on our voter FAQs page.

What about students who are not from Iowa?

Well, students who aren’t from Iowa have a choice. They can register and vote here in Ames. The courts have upheld the principle that college students have a choice of where to vote; they can vote where they attend college or wherever they consider their home base.

If they wish to vote at their parents’ home or their place of residence in another state, what they need to do is to get absentee ballot request forms, and the positions that might be on the ballot in different states could vary.

Why should students vote in this upcoming election?

This upcoming election is very important because it is for city councils and a number of school boards and, of course, city councils make important decisions like noise ordinances, garbage pickup, where to put stop lights, police protection and those things that really make a difference in our lives day to day.

School board elections have become very high profile in the last few years, as some parents have come to school districts and school board meetings to express their concern about books that are in the library or new state laws that are being passed about use of nicknames or use of restrooms or athletics. We have seen that often, there are very different factions that are running for office for school board, and that makes for, I think, a very vigorous conversation.

It’s important to know that to vote on campus on election day, they have to be registered at their residence hall or apartment in Ames, and if they wish to vote early, like in the Union are elsewhere on campus, they have to be registered somewhere in Story County.

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