Plenty of early voting options available in Linn, Johnson counties

Three school bond proposals could drive voter turnout

  • Photo

CEDAR RAPIDS — Voters looking to avoid the lines in the Sept. 12 school board elections have a few options before Election Day.

In addition to school board candidate races, voters in three metro area school districts — Iowa City, Linn-Mar and Clear Creek Amana — will decide the fate of multimillion dollar bond proposals.

Voters across 13 counties also are asked to weigh in on a five-year renewal of a $60 million Kirkwood Community College infrastructure bond.

Some of those high-dollar ballot items have the potential to drive up voter turnout, said John Deeth, election technician with the Johnson County Auditor’s Office.

“We’re doing more satellites than we usually do for a school election because we know interest is up,” Deeth said. “It helps us to get as many of those votes cast early as we can because it’s going to be shorter lines at the polling places on Election Day.”

More than 1,100 absentee ballots had been requested in Johnson County by 1 p.m. Friday. Of those, 522 had been returned.

In Linn County, 809 absentee ballots had been requested as of Friday night and 517 had been returned.

Here is a look at the three major public school bond proposals and their corresponding satellite voting locations:

Linn County

Linn-Mar Community School District: $80 million bond

Linn-Mar school district officials say an $80 million bond would pay for two new intermediate school buildings to house fifth- and sixth-graders, and an elementary school building.

The funds also would be used to renovate the district’s three existing elementary schools and construct an addition to Excelsior Middle School.

It would incrementally increase Linn-Mar’s tax rate to about $19 per $1,000 of taxable assessed property.

Satellite locations

l Tuesday — 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Kirkwood Community College, 6301 Kirkwood Blvd. SW, Cedar Rapids.

l In-person absentee voting also is available at the Linn County Auditor’s Office, 935 Second St. SW, Cedar Rapids, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays through Sept. 11.

Johnson County

Iowa City Community School District: $191.5 million bond

Iowa City Community School District residents will decide a $191.5 million bond aimed at finishing the district’s 10-year master facilities plan.

Those projects, according to bond language, include renovations or site improvements at all of the district’s high schools and the alternative high, all of its junior highs, as well as Shimek, Wood, Wickham, Garner, Horn, Kirkwood, Borlaug, Alexander, Lemme, Mann and Lincoln elementary schools.

It also would fund the construction of a new elementary school in North Liberty and pay for the installation of air conditioning in all of the district’s school buildings.

The bond issue — the biggest ever proposed in Iowa — would increase the district’s total tax rate to $14.96 per $1,000 of taxable assessed value.

Clear Creek Amana Community School District: $36 million bond

If passed, the Clear Creek Amana Community School District would use a $36 million bond to build a new elementary school, improve its three existing elementary schools, build a gym at Clear Creek Elementary, rework the middle schools’ access drive and build an addition to the high school and improve its parking.

According to the district, passing the bond would keep the district’s property tax rate stable at about $16.95 per $1,000 of taxable assessed value.

Satellite locations

l Tuesday — 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Kirkwood Community College, 1816 Lower Muscatine Rd., Iowa City.

l Sept. 7 — 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, 200 Hawkins Dr., Iowa City — Fountain entrance.

l Sept. 7 and 8 — noon to 6 p.m. at Iowa City Public Library, 123 S. Linn St.

l Sept. 9 — 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at North Liberty Community Library, 520 W. Cherry St.

l Sept. 9 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sept. 10 from noon to 3:30 p.m. at Coralville Public Library, Schwab Auditorium, 1401 Fifth St.

l The Johnson County Auditor’s Office, 913 S. Dubuque St. in Iowa City, also will host weekend voting from 8 a.m. to noon Sept. 9 and noon to 5 p.m. Sept. 10. In-person early voting is available at the Auditor’s Office from 7:45 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. weekdays through Sept. 11.

l Comments: (319) 339-3175; mitchell.schmidt@thegazette.com

Give us feedback

Have you found an error or omission in our reporting? Tell us here.
Do you have a story idea we should look into? Tell us here.