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The student news source of Iowa City West High

West Side Story

The student news source of Iowa City West High

West Side Story

The student news source of Iowa City West High

West Side Story

How to register and vote for the Nov. 7 election

Johnson County will be holding an election Nov. 7 for the City Council and ICCSD School Board. Here’s some information on how to get registered and where to vote.
Eleanor Weitz
The Nov. 7 election includes voting for both the city council and school board.

As many West High seniors turn 18 and reach the voting age, it’s important to register and vote in the upcoming city council and school board elections. The right to vote is a critical component of our country’s democracy and government system. The city council and school board make important decisions that can highly impact the life of West students and Iowa City residents in general. Here’s a one-stop-shop of Iowa voting information for anyone interested in using their fundamental right to participate in their government. 

How to Register

In order to register to vote you must be three things:

  • A US citizen 
  • An Iowa Resident 
  • At least 17 years old (18 by the time of the general election) 

There are many ways to get registered to vote. Sadly, a lot of them aren’t going to be processed in time to vote in the Nov. 7 election. You can register online on the Iowa DOT website or register by mail and print out a form from the same page. These two methods will register voters but it will take too much time for someone to vote in the November election. 

The easiest way to get registered in time to vote in the November election is to go in person to the Johnson County Auditor’s office and fill out the form there. There will be a dropbox by the door. All the employees behind the desk are ready to help you if you get confused. 

There is a last resort if you’ve put off registering to vote until the day of the election. Election day voter registration will be available at all polling locations. The part that makes this tricky is that you must have a valid form of identification and proof of residency. This can be a lot of different things such as a bill, lease, paycheck or pay statement with your address and name on it. Without these two things, you will not be able to register. 


How to Vote

Once you’ve gotten registered, it’s important to figure out where your assigned polling place is. The Johnson County Auditor’s Office website has a convenient polling place map where you can plug in your address and it will tell you where to go to vote. Polls are open from 7 a.m.-8 p.m. for you to cast your vote. 

When you get to your polling place, there will be signs directing you where to go. Go up to the table and present your ID. The poll worker will ask you to confirm your identity and then you will have to sign a declaration of eligibility stating that you meet all the legal requirements to vote in the election. 


Candidate Information

After that, you will get your ballot and choose your candidates. For this election, there will be city council candidates and school board candidates to choose from. The candidates will be different depending on the district you live in. Make sure to do your research and decide on who you’re supporting before you go in to vote. Election officials cannot legally tell you anything about the candidates or give you any advice on who to vote for. 

The Iowa City Downtown District compiled a review of the candidates for city council that lists each candidate and their main goals and outlooks. This information can be found for other races, such as the Coralville city council, with a simple Google search. 

The Iowa City Community School District has four available spots on the school board and seven candidates running. They’ve provided the names and contact information for each candidate on their website. 

Voting is a citizen’s most valuable right to influence the government. It’s important that everyone, no matter how young, learns about the candidates and utilizes their vote. Each and every vote counts, especially in state and county elections such as this one. In 2020, Representative Marianette Miller-Meeks won her position in the House of Representatives by only six votes. A group of just six people could have influenced the United States Congress that much by just voting. So with all the information you now know, go vote at your polling place on Nov. 7.

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About the Contributor
Eleanor Weitz, Managing Editor
(she/her) Eleanor is a senior and this is her third year on staff. This year, she's the managing editor for the online newspaper. In her free time, she enjoys reading, hanging out with friends and going thrift shopping.
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