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Cedar Rapids voting to reshape City Council

File photo of a voting sign. (CBS2/FOX28)

Cedar Rapids voters are heading to the polls Tuesday with eight people running for Mayor.

Monica Vernon, Scott Olson and Kris Gulick have all already shaped the city in their own ways with their time on City Council.

“We have a master plan for this council, the next council, future councils,” explained Olson. “So we can see because our resources are limited but at the same time, we understand the importance of today’s problems.”

Jorel Robinson and Lemi Tilahun are the youngest candidates, and both of them are making the case it’s time for the next generation to start contributing to city government.

“There’s people that are in a different generation that are going to be making decisions for my family, for people in my generation long after they’re gone so my question is: ‘Why wait?” said Robinson.

Pastor Tim Pridegon is promoting Love, Peace and Unity with his run. Lawyer Brad Hart is pushing his volunteering as the reason he’s the right choice for Cedar Rapids. Former Cedar Rapids Police Chief Gary Hinzman is running on his career of public service in the criminal justice system.

“I have said that there should not be any infrastructure bill that leaves Congress that doesn’t mention Cedar Rapids, Iowa,” said Hinzman, explaining how he’d try to secure additional funding for flood protection.

Half the Cedar Rapids City Council seats are up for grabs, along with Council seats in 17 other cities. Early voting ends Monday, and has been available to Linn County voters for roughly a month. Linn County Auditor Joel Miller tells us early turnout has been lower than in past City Elections. He thinks it’s because the biggest city in the county has eight candidates for mayor, and many choices for its City Council seats.

“I think people need to weigh that out and come to a decision, and they have until election day to do it,” said Miller.

New Voter ID laws created during the 2017 Legislative session don’t go into effect until 2018, when voters will have to present identification to cast a ballot. Tuesday’s elections have the same requirements as the Presidential Election last November.

If you have any concerns about the voting process, click here.

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