Rachel Junck earned the most votes anyone has ever received in Ward 4 and decisively beat her closest competitor in a blowout, 49-34 percent. This result would be a decisive victory in a federal or state election, but the archaic rules governing local elections in Iowa require a runoff vote because, although Junck won the most votes by far, she was just seven votes shy of a majority.
Rachel Junck has expanded democracy in Ames, increasing turnout compared to 2015 in Precinct 1 by 278 percent, Precinct 2 by 689 percent and Precinct 3 by 332 percent. It is all the more impressive that Junck accomplished this dramatic improvement in voting in these precincts with large student populations in the face of state-sponsored efforts to suppress the student vote.
The state of Iowa is unfortunately doing everything it can to suppress the political voice of students through repressive voter ID laws, efforts to close polling places on campus and more. It would be truly unfair if the clear will of the electorate of Ward 4, which is mostly students, was snatched away because students didn’t turn out again to vote in the runoff election Dec. 3.
Despite all the efforts to stop students from voting, and the challenges to students that a runoff on Dec. 3 presents, I believe that students will not let their clear will be subverted. I am counting on students in Ward 4 to vote for Rachel Junck Dec. 3 again to ensure the clear will of the electorate is actually recognized. The people have spoken, and they have chosen Rachel Junck for City Council, but it’s still up to you to make it happen by voting Dec. 3.