UNI NEWS SERVICES - The University of Northern Iowa today announced that the UNI-DOME will be open as an early-voting site for Black Hawk County residents. The university and the athletics department moved to consolidate early voting in one location to allow the campus and community to safely cast their ballot in a large indoor space while wearing masks and remaining socially distanced.
Early voting runs from Oct. 6-10 and students are encouraged to register in advance to vote. UNI has a strong tradition of civic engagement, posting the nation’s second-highest student voting rate in the 2016 presidential election and the highest voter turnout of any Iowa public university in 2018.
The UNI-DOME will also be a polling location for the Nov. 3 general election. It’s believed this is the first time the indoor stadium has been used as a polling spot since opening in 1976.
“UNI is proud to continue its partnership with the Black Hawk County Auditor's Office to host early and Election Day voting. Civic engagement is central to UNI’s mission and values; we are committed to educating our students about the importance of participating in elections and to serving as a satellite site for voting to our broader community,” said Andrew Morse, assistant to the president for board and governmental relations.
A unified, nonpartisan effort to increase student participation in elections called #PanthersVote has been led by the Northern Northern Iowa Student Government (NISG) and university chapters of the American Democracy Project (ADP) and Campus Election Engagement Project (CEEP) along with the political science department and UNI Athletics.
“There is no doubt that the UNI-Dome is a perfect voting site, and we are excited to be able to offer the space during this pandemic,” said UNI Director of Athletics David Harris. “We are also grateful to provide a convenient area for all UNI students and staff to participate in our democracy via early-voting. We are committed to doing everything we can to help our student-athletes and staff vote, and this will be a huge step in that endeavor.”
“This gives students a chance to vote when it’s convenient for them before Election Day,” said Grant Veeder, Black Hawk County auditor and commissioner of elections. “You don't have to worry about where you're going to be on Election Day, if you have class all day, or if you're sick. It’s a great way for students to schedule their own voting.”
The UNI-DOME will be open for voting on the following dates and times:
Tuesday, Oct. 6, 9 a.m. - 1 p.m.
Wednesday, Oct. 7, 12-4 p.m.
Thursday, Oct. 8, 3-7 p.m.
Friday, Oct. 9, 9 a.m. - 1 p.m.
Saturday, Oct. 10, 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.
Nov. 3: 7 a.m. - 9 p.m.