Curfews will not affect voting in primary, Reynolds confirms

In a Tuesday press conference, Gov. Kim Reynolds confirmed that curfews imposed after violent protests have broken out across the state will not impact people’s ability to vote in person.


Katina Zentz

Gov. Kim Reynolds speaks during the Condition of the State address at the Iowa State Capitol on Tuesday, January 14, 2020.

Josie Fischels, Summer Editor

Gov. Kim Reynolds confirmed that voting for the June 2 primary election will not be affected by curfews imposed in several cities and counties in Iowa during a press conference Tuesday.

Iowa is holding a primary for both Republicans and Democrats Tuesday. The Democratic nominee for the U.S. Senate, both party nominees for U.S. Congress, and various local offices will be voted on.

An 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew was imposed in Coralville Monday following looting and looting attempts at several Coralville businesses Sunday night. The curfew was extended to 9 p.m. Tuesday morning to facilitate voting.

A curfew has also been imposed for Des Moines, Polk County, Scott County, and Sioux City in response to protests and violence.

Both peaceful and violent protests have swept Iowa and the U.S. over the past several days. On Monday night, people gathered an hour before curfew began in Coralville to chalk the sidewalk and protest in front of the Coralville Police Department, although several stayed after curfew began.

A protest in Iowa City Monday night remained mostly peaceful as protesters visited the Pentacrest, the Johnson County Jail, City Hall, and the Johnson County Courthouse. Rocks were thrown through the windows of the Iowa City police station and the side of the courthouse was spray painted, but no other damages occurred.

Reynolds reiterated her support for only peaceful protests in Iowa, stating that violent protesters are “hijacking the message” protests are trying to convey. Iowa Comissioner Stephen Bayens stated that in Des Moines, curfew was not enforced at 9 p.m. during protests while police officers have struggled to determine how to give protesters grace while also fairly enforcing the curfew for all citizens.

“It’s never a final straw. It’s to try to give as much grace to folks as you can and not impose a hard curfew and evaluate those circumstances,” he said.