Voting in a special election

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MASON CITY, Iowa – There’s seems to be a common trend on the minds of voters Tuesday.

Each one seems to want change.

“I think the city council is important and I think we’ve had a lot of negativity and I think it’s time for people to get out and express their opinions,” voter Pauline Bahnsen said.

“Since we’ve had the Prestage issue we’ve been kind of divided as a city now we’re going to make sure my voice was heard,” voter Ryan Burdett said.

Last year’s special election for an open at-large seat saw the second lowest voter turnout in 25 years of local elections.  The hope is, this time will be different.

After the passing of councilmen Alex Kuhn, eight filed to take his seat.

The candidates are Max Weaver, Jeff Christie, Paul Adams, Joshua Masson, Andy O’Brien, Scott Peterson, Jacob Krueger, and John Carden.

“I think there have been more publicity and more controversy,” Bahnsen said.

Riley Dirksen, a programmer for Cerro Gordo County, says it is fun seeing the number of people voting, via computer screen.

“It’s not something that’s done everywhere. Iowa is actually, we’re kind of on the cutting edge when it comes to the electronic poll book. The precinct atlas has been custom designed to work specifically with Iowa voting laws,” Dirksen explained.

Dirksen helped design this atlas.  It’s tracking the number of ballots submitted from every precinct.  This gives campaigns, auditors and political parties an idea on how many people have voted.  It also gives them a heads up if a large number of voters are turning out at one spot.  That way, more ballots can be delivered immediately so people don’t have to wait.

“We’re making sure it’s easy to let as many people vote as possible. It’s a constitutional right to be able to vote.  The more people vote, the better,” Dirksen said.

Polls opened at 7 am and closed at 8 pm.

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