In Johnson County, Battle for First Voter Bragging Rights
In Iowa City, Democratic party activists have a traditional, friendly competition for the honor of "first voter." On Thursday, the first day of in-person early voting, three dozen people lined up at the county auditor's office before the window opened. The first-in-line winner was Sue Dvorsky of Coralville, an early Obama backer and one of the county's co-chairs for Obama at caucus time.
Auditor's Office staffer Harry Rueber prepares to give Sue Dvorsky the first in-person ballot as Tom Penne awaits the second.
"Everything we've done for the last two years has led us to today and the next forty days," said Dvorsky. "It's an astounding thing to have come this far."
Most of the voters lined up at 8 a.m. had attended a pre-vote rally at Democratic headquarters, three blocks from the auditor's office. The rally was one of 17 early vote rallies sponsored by the Obama campaign and the Democrats across the state.
But the earliest early voters included some regular, non-campaign folks. "We're afraid we won't be back in time," said Sue Penne, who is taking a trip to Utah with her husband Tom that may last past election day. They eased into the second and third spots in line, ahead of Sue Dvorsky's husband, state Sen. Bob Dvorsky.
By 11 AM, 65 voters had voted at the Johnson County Auditor's Office, and another 34 at a satellite voting site at the Iowa City Public Library.