On Wednesday October 21, Marshall County’s staff from the Auditor/Recorder office set up their computer and polling booths among the Mexican sodas and veladoras (candles) inside Zamora’s Fresh Market in Marshalltown Iowa. Zamora’s served as a Satellite Voting site for the first time ever and a line was already formed inside the store waiting for the clock to strike 1pm so they can cast their vote for the 2020 presidential elections.
When the day was over at 7pm, 44 people from Marshall county had participated in their civic duty to vote, one of the highest numbers for a satellite location in Marshall County.
“Yes, we had 44 voters who voted at the Satellite yesterday at Zamora. The Satellite location came about by the Democratic party wanting to hold a Satellite in Marshalltown and Zamora was willing to hold the Satellite. I was very pleased with the turnout and even had a couple of first time voters.” said Nan Benson the Auditor/Recorder and Commissioner of Elections for Marshall County.
21 year-old Jose Zaragoza was one of the first people to vote at this satellite location on Wednesday.
“I vote for the people that cannot vote” said Mr. Zaragoza to Hola Iowa after casting his vote.
There were also translators on site that we saw helped a couple elderly Latino voters exercise their right at the polls.
Maria Gonzalez, one of the people that helped organize a march and rally that evening in celebration, was very encouraged with the turnout.
“I have seen the importance of the Latino vote nationally. Zamora’s is a great opportunity for members of the community to vote in an atmosphere that they know and feel comfortable in. When I was contacted by Mauricio to help organize the event I was more than happy to do so.
What could be better than tamales and voting. I hope this motivates those who have yet to vote to do so.” Gonzalez said.
The same day about 2 hours east the city of Columbus Junction was also holding a Satellite Voting site for Louisa County at the Columbus Junction City Hall which is located in the same building as the LULAC Columbus Junction office.
Araceli Vazquez, the community advocate for LULAC said that they had a very diverse crowd.
“We had close to 50 people voting and I helped about 10 Latinos in the process. We had Latinos, Asians, everyone participating” Vazquez said.
Vazquez was very happy with the results and she believes they are a safe alternative for the voters “The early voting satellite sites are very important during the coronavirus pandemic because this way we could avoid crowds, make voting easy and safe for all the residents.”
The Louisa County auditor Sandi Elliot confirmed that there were in fact 48 people that voted at the Satellite Voting site in Columbus Junction.