Votemobile sees success


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After one week, Johnson County officials said the Votemobile has helped attract more voters.

The Votemobile is a van that travels to high-school football games and provides people the chance to vote early, as well as encourage people to vote, said Johnson County Auditor Travis Weipert.

Weipert said the Votemobile has had a favorable turnout and has been very successful in getting people to vote.

“We’re waiting for it to hit the other football games,” Weipert said.

The Solon School District held the first Votemobile for 2014. The voting for that station only went toward the Sept. 9 election on a bond issue for the district.

Iowa City West High Assistant Principal Molly Abraham said the Votemobile is due to come to one of its football games in the fall, as well as the other local high schools.

In addition to several high schools, the Votemobile is also scheduled to visit several Iowa City Hy-Vee locations.

The next scheduled election is the general election on Nov. 4.  In the 2010 general election, the county had more than 25,000 early voters. That number accounted for roughly 47 percent of the votes cast.

John Deeth, an account clerk in the Johnson County Auditor's Office who has worked with satellite voting for 17 years, has been an active follower of the Votemobile.

Deeth said there are a few things to consider when the Votemobile is used at a football game, such as where to look for people, where to be stationed, and when to set up shop.

He understands that football games are a large part of the culture here in Iowa City, making these events ideal for reaching out to potential voters.

“At football games, people tend to flock into a large crowd and would prefer not to break away just to vote,” he said.

That is why the Votemobile site is usually scheduled for when people are on their way in to see the game, Deeth said.

The Votemobile tends to be a nice spectacle for the average football fan when considering its appearance, he said.

“Those who wish to vote early usually come to our office,” he said.

 So people appreciate the convenience of the big van that allows them to vote early, he said.

While the Votemobile has been seeing success at football games, Deeth said officials want to expand to local grocery stores as well. 

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