CONTACT: MARY GERAGHTY KENYON
100 Old Public Library
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 384-0011; fax (319) 384-0024
Release: Oct. 30, 2000
UI students to conduct exit poll on local ballot issues, government corruption
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- A group of University of Iowa political science students
will fan out across Iowa City and Coralville on election day to conduct an
exit poll measuring voters' support of local ballot issues and perceptions
of government corruption.
Students in Assistant Professor David Redlawsk's Municipal Government and
Politics course will work in shifts at 13 Iowa City and Coralville polling
places asking every fourth voter leaving the polls to fill out a brief questionnaire
and place it anonymously in a cardboard ballot box. Redlawsk estimates the
poll will take voters no more than 10 minutes to complete.
"This is a great opportunity for students to get out into the community
and perform a valuable service, and at the same time learn about local politics
firsthand," he said. "We hope voters will be willing to take a few
minutes to participate in this project."
The local poll is part of a nine-city collaborative research project examining
how citizens define political corruption, the factors that influence views
on political corruption, and the consequences of views of corruption for vote
choice and attitudes toward government and politics.
Voters in all nine cities will be asked the same questions about government
corruption. In addition, researchers in each city are adding questions related
to local issues. Iowa City voters will be asked whether they voted in favor
of building a new jail, expanding the public library, and removing the First
Avenue extension from the city budget. They will also be asked what factor
most influenced their vote on the library expansion. Coralville voters will
be asked whether they voted in favor of building a new jail.
Using the demographic information collected as part of the poll, Redlawsk
expects to have some interesting data on the types of voters who supported
and rejected each of the ballot issues.
Redlawsk said the data gathered on opinions on political corruption will
vary widely because some cities involved in the project have long histories
of government corruption, while others, like Iowa City, have little or none.
Redlawsk is collaborating with researchers from Florida International University
(Miami), Purdue University (Lafayette, Ind.), Hunter College (New York), University
of Wisconsin-Parkside (Kenosha and Racine, Wis.), Tulane University (New Orleans),
Roger Williams University (Providence, R.I.), California State University-Northridge
(Los Angeles), and University of North Florida (Jacksonville).
(EDITORS: Redlawsk expects to be able to share detailed findings on demographic
correlates of voter support for local ballot issues at a Nov. 8 press conference
at 3 p.m. in the Old Public Library. Early returns from this exit poll may
be available after 3 p.m. Nov. 7. Contact Redlawsk at 319/335-2352 for details.)