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Early Voting starts today

BY REBECCA MORIN | APRIL 24, 2014 5:00 AM

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Johnson County residents can head to the voting polls starting today.

Early voting for county and state elections have started as the June 3 primary election day is nearing.

With many Democratic candidates running in the area elections, officials are expecting a “decent turnout.”

“We have Democratic candidates on the ballot,” Deputy Auditor of Elections Kingsley Botchway said. “And we’re hoping that generates enough interest in the elections to vote for those particular ballots.”

However, early voting isn’t coming at a time of year that is convenient for students as the school year comes to an end. But officials are hoping more voting sites could be a solution to the issue.

“We don’t usually get the same student turnout out numbers at this time of the year,” Botchway said. “We’re hoping the satellites will increase student turnout. We do have some students sites closer to the end of May, but because of finals, we tried to have some satellites earlier in the process.”

There are two open seats for the Johnson County Board of Supervisors. Three of the candidates running, which include current Supervisor Janelle Rettig and two other candidates, Lisa Green-Douglass and Mike Carberry, are Democrats. Incumbent John Etheredge, a Republican, is also running for a seat.

A reported 9,736 people voted in the supervisor election in 2010, according to the Johnson County website.

Two Democrats, Janet Lyness and John Zimmerman, are running in the for the primary for the county attorney position.

Janelle Rettig:

Incumbent Rettig has not only served on the Board of Supervisors, but on the Johnson County Emergency Management Commission, the Urban County Coalition Committee, and as a staffer for Rep. Jim Leach.

The Iowa City resident’s platform focuses on Johnson County’s growing population. She said some county departments are setting records monthly with the number of people requesting their services, which creates stress on the departments.

John Etheredge:

John Etheredge, an incumbent and previously a small-business owner, is running again.

Etheredge’s key issues are making the county more efficient, which includes a state bill that will help develop an online voter registration log.

In addition to streamlining paper work that goes into voter registration, the Lone Tree resident hopes to continue working on new road plans to more heavy secondary-road traffic onto the main county and state highways.

Mike Carberry:

Mike Carberry, a longtime member of the Iowa Farm Bureau and Iowa Farmers Union, is running for one of the open seats on the board.

The University of Iowa graduate’s platform focuses on sustainability. He said with the county’s expected population growth, it is important to control urban sprawl and protect agricultural land.
Carberry also hopes to focus on upgrading the courthouse and jail.

Lisa Green-Douglass:

Lisa Green-Douglass has taught Spanish at the University of Iowa and Cornell College for the past 17 years. She has worked as a consultant and corporate trainer with Command Spanish, and teaches job-specific Spanish.

One of Green-Douglass’ main goals if elected to a seat on the Board of Supervisors is a county ID system, which would act as a form of identification for Johnson County residents who do not have driver’s licenses.

In addition, she advocates for scattered affordable housing.

Janet Lyness:

Incumbent Janet Lyness is seeking re-election as county attorney.

The Iowa City resident has implemented various programs during her time, such as the Johnson County Drug Court, the Rocket Docket — a payment program for those who have had their driver’s license suspended because of outstanding fines, and the Marijuana Diversion Program.

Lyness said she hopes to continue such programs, as well as petition for more funding for mental health care in the area.

John Zimmerman:

John Zimmerman, who completed law school in December, is also seeking to become the county attorney.

Zimmerman hopes to focus on putting an end to prosecuting “petty crimes” such as public intoxications and marijuana for personal use.


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