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Iowa Woman Promotes Census And Voting

A woman in a striped shirt holds up a clipboard with voter information on it behind a table that says "Iowa Asian Alliance." A sign to her right says "Register to Vote Here." Grocery store sliding doors are behind her and flowers are to her left.
Kassidy Arena
/
IPR
Amanda Lovan holds a clipboard with voter information in front of the C Fresh International Grocery Store in Des Moines on Thursday. She stays outside every Tuesday and Thursday from 3 to 6 p.m. "I believe that knowing who is on the ballot and voting is your right. And the first step is to register yourself to vote," Lovan said.

With August halfway over, Iowans have a lot of paperwork on their hands: filling out 2020 census, registering to vote or applying for vote-by-mail. One Iowa woman has taken it upon herself to remind her community of their civic duties.

Amanda Lovan, of Iowa Asian Alliance, stood outside of the C Fresh International Grocery Store in Des Moines. The sun baked down on her despite her placing her booth in the shade.

Lovan had multiple clipboards, stacks of paper and a load of cleaning supplies. The goal she started this week involved camping outside the store every Tuesday and Thursday to inform people about the census and help them register to vote.

“I shop here all the time. I just I think this neighborhood is very important, because it's a lower income neighborhood over here. And not a lot of people are that involved or active in politics," Lovan said.

Lovan said she switched her work schedule so she can fit in helping her community with the census and voter information.

“Everybody has their little niche that they can do, you know, like, they have all the food supplies and the resources and you know, this is like my little niche right here," Lovan said.

Lovan has census information in six different languages, voter registration signups and vote by mail applications at her pandemic-friendly booth. She proudly showed off the table where hand sanitizer, disinfectant spray and wipes were stacked in the front.

Lovan said she starts by asking people if they are registered to vote, then moves on to promote the census. Since her booth was in a large immigrant community, she made sure to let people know they did not have to be citizens to fill out the census.