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Courting the Student Vote for 21-Only

IOWA CITY, IA (CBS2/FOX28) -- Several hundred students voted this week at the satellite polling location in Burge Hall at the University of Iowa, said Johnson County auditor Travis Weipert.

The polling place was requested by the group Vote YES to Repeal the 21 Bar Ordinance, and volunteers from the group stood nearby Burge on Tuesday afternoon, handing out fliers to motivate students to vote -- and it did the trick.

"Yeah, I have, like, eight fliers in my bag right now," Said UI freshman Hannah Smith, who said the fliers brought her out to the polls.

"I honestly didn't know it was today until they did that, and so I figured, why not come out and share my opinion?" said senior Nicky Fish.

The Repeal 21 group petitioned for the site to make sure students who oppose the ordinance, like sophomore Adam Gary, voted.

"It's kind of inconvenient because I'm not doing anything wrong. If I would blow zeroes (in a breathalyzer test), then I'm not doing anything wrong, I don't know why I can't stay there," Gary said.

Weipert said the 21 Makes Sense group has also petitioned for extra polling places, and he encouraged the participation.

"Both sides in this case were open to working with us, and I think it's great," Weipert said.

Weipert thought that there were fairly even numbers of polling sites and available hours for both sides to court their desired voters.

It wasn't just those under 21 hitting the polls on Tuesday. Senior Lincoln Adams said having to leave the bars early can get students in trouble.

"People are going to drink either way, and if you're out at a house party, if you get into some trouble there, you're left on the street basically, but if you're out at a bar, there's police around," Adams said.

But some seniors think the law helps. Fish was still undecided on how she would vote when she walked into the booth.

"When I was 19, I guess it kept me out out (of the bars), it kept me home studying, focusing on my academics, stuff like that. So I guess there's nothing wrong with giving people are reason to stay home and focus on the important things," Fish said.
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