CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa - In about seven weeks, Vote Yes Linn County amassed more than 16,000 signatures some 4,300 more than needed to prompt a special election to see if Linn County voters approve of gambling in the county.
Sufficiently fast and easy was the signature-gathering campaign that Steve Gray, who is leading a group of mostly local investors in a plan to build the $80 million to $100 million casino, announced Tuesday that his group would push for a gaming vote on March 5.
He had expected the petition drive to take longer and so had expected to seek a vote on May 7.
"Fifty-four days and counting," he said at a Tuesday morning news conference outside the offices of the Linn County Board of Supervisors, where the Vote Yes Linn County group turned in its petition signatures.
The supervisors will meet Wednesday to set the date of the gaming vote.
"We got many more signatures much more quickly than we planned," Gray said.
He credited local labor unions, the Building Pros of Eastern Iowa and the Vote Yes Linn County volunteer corps with working hard on the petition effort.