A Small Change Could Mean Big Money in Scott County - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

A Small Change Could Mean Big Money in Scott County


It's a controversial bill making it's way through the Iowa Legislature. 

One that requires voters to show their ID's at the poll. 

But it's a small part of the bill that could end up costing taxpayers - thousands. 

The language includes a requirement that county workers must go to assisted living facilities and collect votes from residents. 

Right now - Scott County employs 6 teams of vote collectors to go and assist with voting in nursing homes.

That costs around $4,000.

If the change is passed - and more collectors are needed for the counties 13 assisted living communities - meaning it could cost another four thousand dollars... for every election. 

Something many aren't happy about - including some assisted living residents.

Beverly Zarndt, 86, lives at a facility in Davenport.

"I would be really upset if this passes. I have my rights. My mind is not gone."

Before retirement - Zarndt taught Special Ed at Central High School in Davenport, always stressing the importance of voting as a civic duty.

And now that her right to go to the polls may be taken away - she isn't happy.

"You can't just stop being a citizen just because you are old. Occasionally you forget somebody's name or something like that. But that's not the point. The point is I wasn't to have my rights as an individual."

The proposed law change says that if the county workers show up to your assisted living community- you must vote there. 

You cannot go to the polls.

This is something the Scott County Auditors office is concerned with. 

Roxanna Moritz, head of the office says she is concerned for the people who will want to visit the polls but can't.

But the main issue - is money.

"What happens is when we send a team out to a nursing care facility we have to send two people," said Moritz. "We have to train them how to do it properly. We have to prepare documents in the office prior to them going."

Costing thousands of dollars.

And while she understands the state is simply trying to help everyone have a voice in elections - the passing of this law would be a serious dent in the counties finances. 

"There is unintended consequences for trying to help people."

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