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Open letter to readers: Today and tomorrow

By Lynda Waddington | 11.17.11

Wednesday was a difficult day for The American Independent News Network, which is the larger entity that operates The Iowa Independent. Our chief executive and founder announced two of our sister sites would close and their content would be moved to The American Independent.

ACS lockout continues; plan emerges to repeal sugar protections

By Virginia Chamlee | 11.15.11

A recently introduced bill could have far-reaching impact on the U.S. sugar industry, including American Crystal Sugar, a farmer-owned cooperative that locked out 1,300 Midwest workers on Aug. 1.

Cain campaign: Farmers know more about regulations than EPA

By Andrew Duffelmeyer | 11.15.11

The chairman for Herman Cain’s Iowa effort says the campaign “relied more on the word of farmers than Washington regulators” in deciding to run an ad containing claims the Environmental Protection Agency says are false.

Mathis wins, Democrats maintain Senate control

Liz Mathis
By Lynda Waddington | 11.08.11

The Iowa Senate will remain under the control of a slim 26-25 Democratic majority when it reconvenes in January 2012.

Press Release

PR: Nation should work to address veterans’ challenges

By Press Release Reprints | 11.11.11

BRUCE BRALEY RELEASE — As US involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan ends, it’s more important than ever that our nation works to address the challenges faced by the men and women who fought there.

PR: Honoring veterans, help in hiring

By Press Release Reprints | 11.11.11

CHUCK GRASSLEY RELEASE — A difficult job market is challenging the soldiers, sailors and airmen who have protected America’s interests by serving in the Armed Forces.

PR: In honor of America’s veterans

By Press Release Reprints | 11.11.11

TOM LATHAM RELEASE — No one has done more to secure the freedom enjoyed by every single American than our veterans and those currently serving in the armed services.

PR: Honoring and supporting our nation’s veterans

By Press Release Reprints | 11.11.11

DAVE LOEBSACK RELEASE — Veterans Day is an opportunity to reflect on the service of generations of veterans and to honor the sacrifices they and their families have made so that we may live in peace and freedom here at home.

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Central College students turned away at polls, problem allegedly solved

By Jason Hancock | 11.02.10 | 4:00 pm

Several students at Central College in Pella were not allowed to vote Tuesday due to an issue with proof of residency, a problem that a spokesman for the Iowa Secretary of State’s office says has been resolved.

Students who were hoping to register to vote at the polls, mostly new students since the last election in 2008, were told they could not vote because they were unable to provide proof of residence, according to Bonnie Dahlke, director of student involvement and orientation at Central College.

“The Secretary of State’s office won’t take our housing contract as proof of residence because it is not a lease,” she said in an e-mail. “We offered to provide an official Central College directory that includes their physical room locations and building addresses but the office won’t accept that either. Because most of our students these days do their banking and bill pay online, they never have a need to change their billing address on those items to their Pella residence because they aren’t getting paper bills via US Postal Service. That leaves them with no way of proving that they live where they live.  It’s an issue that affects students on residential campuses everywhere. They just want to vote but they seem to be a forgotten population when it comes to our day-of-election voter registration.”

Jesse Harris, a spokesman for the Secretary of State, said his office has been in contact with the local county auditor, and students who were turned away will be allowed to register and vote in Pella. But Dahlke said that message has “not communicated to me nor have I heard that they have communicated it to anyone else at Central College.”

Dahlke — who said the denial could impact around 750 students who are new to campus since 2008 — is advising students to find a registered voter in the precinct to attest for them, “but it’s difficult because Precinct 4 is mostly the college and half of those 2008 registrants have since graduated and moved on.”

If students cannot find someone to attest for them, they are encouraged to fill out a provisional ballot, she said.

Student at Grinnell faced a similar problem in 2008. Around 50 student absentee ballots were challenged by Republicans because the address they listed when they registered to vote — a P.O. Box on campus where they receive mail — was not the physical address of their dormitories. However, a special precinct board later ruled the ballots would be counted didn’t change the outcome of any elections.

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  • Albert Bregar

    I call BS on this issue. My wife attends Central and the school sent out emails to each and every student with instructions on how to register to vote at the polls. If these students were too stupid to follow the instructions then I don’t feel very sorry for them.

    • Anonymous

      I attend Central College and the emails each of us received occurred after this issue. Up until today we were told to bring a driver’s license and our student identification to vote. Hundreds of students were not allowed to vote today, because upon arrival they were denied their right to vote and were not allowed to fill out a provisional ballot. The county auditor attempted to rectify the situation, but many students who wanted to vote were not allowed that opportunity. This is a rule that should have been clarified well before today.

    • Aaron

      Iowa law allows people to register to vote on election day, so they auditor’s office can’t use the excuse that they should have registered earlier.

    • Anonymous

      I assume your wife doesn’t live in a dorm – students were told via email they could vote as long as they had valid ID. My son, a freshman, had the ID plus the registration document with Central College letter head that assigned him to the room / dorm he would be in for this fall semester. He was turned away.

  • Anonymous

    Grinnell solves this issue (partially) by having a student group that helps register students well before election day. This way there is a decent stock of current students who can attest for others.

    Early voting at satellite stations is another way to partially resolve this issue.

    • Anonymous

      Rumor has it that for some mysterious reason the Young Democrats were having problems getting announcements approved and posted in the campus news and were thus slow to organize. They often poll watch. Perhaps those who have connections at Central College need to ask about this. It seems as if there is some petty tyranny going on in Pella.

  • Silver Fang

    A conspiracy to keep students from voting? Does the old guard fear the youth so much?

  • Jim Jiminy

    Becoming educated doesn’t stop when you walk out the doors of your classrooms. If a person is interested enough to vote, they will educate themselves about the matter before ‘issues’ arise. No pity here.

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