RETENTION VOTE: Wiggins Seat Uncertain

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While the Presidential race gets much of the attention, there’s another very heated battle for Iowans on Election Day.

Voters have to decide whether to retain Justice David Wiggins on the Iowa Supreme Court.

Justice Wiggins was part of the unanimous court ruling that decided the state’s same-sex marriage ban was unconstitutional.

The latest Des Moines Register Iowa Poll shows Iowa voters are mixed on the issue.

Thirty-eight percent of Iowans plan to vote yes to retain Justice Wiggins on the bench, thirty-four percent say they’ll vote no and twenty-two percent say they’re still undecided.

Political columnist Kathie Obradovich says although the numbers appear in Justice Wiggins favor, they could be misleading.

“If a lot of people don’t take the time or don’t have the knowledge to turn over the ballot and vote, i say that favors the folks who are trying to get rid of Justice Wiggins,” says Obradovich.

The front of the ballot gives voters the option to vote straight party, all Republican or all Democrat.

However, voters still must flip the ballot over to vote on the retention issue.

“I hope they take the time to read the ballot correctly, and efficiently, it’s their duty with their responsibility being a voter and being a citizen of the United States,” says Korky Hubbell of Des Moines.

Two years ago, conservative groups led the effort to oust three other Justices from the court.

Those same groups have spent thousands of dollars on commercials to do the same to Justice Wiggins.

However, Obradovich says recent polls show Iowans are more accepting of same-sex marriage, and Pro-Wiggins groups are doing more this time to educate people to vote on this issue.

“If you take the time to explain who Justice Wiggins is they are more clear about it than if you just say his name, so you have to wonder if people will be able to flip over the ballot and know for sure who they’re voting for or against,” says Obradovich.

Three justices remain on the bench that were part of the decision that ruled same-sex marriage is constitutional.