Registration Deadline: Voter pre-registration deadlines:
- 10 days before general elections
- 11 days before all other elections
If you were not able to pre-register to vote, you may register to vote on Election Day at the polling place for the precinct where you currently live. For more information, visit Election Day Registration.
If you are a college student, you may choose to register to vote at your home address or at your college address. You cannot register to vote at both
Ballots are secret and voters have the right to vote for any candidate they want.
The only time that party affiliation is important in terms of voting is in the case of a political party caucus or a primary election. In those cases, voters must be registered with the political party whose caucus or primary they wish to participate in. Voters have the right to change their affiliation and then participate in the caucus or primary election on the day those events are being held. (Ex. Someone who is registered as a Republican may participate in the Democratic primary election by changing his or her political affiliation to Democratic on the day the primary election is held and vice versa,)
Voters can only participate in one party's caucus or primary election each time those events take place.
VOTER REGISTRATION QUALIFICATIONS
Age: At least 17 1/2 years old (must be 18 years old by election day to vote).
Citizenship: Must be a United States citizen
Residency: Must be a resident of Iowa
Mental Competency: Not been judged mentally incompetent to vote by a court
Felony Convictions: Not be a convicted felon (unless your voting rights have been restored.) See Restoration of Rights for more information on restoration of voting rights for convicted felons).
Valid forms of ID
Iowa Driver's License
Iowa Non-Operator's ID
Voter ID Card
During calendar year 2018 voters will be asked to show their ID before voting at the polls. Anyone who does not have the necessary ID will be asked to sign an oath verifying their identity, and will be allowed to cast a regular ballot.
Beginning January 1, 2019, Iowa voters will be required to show a driver’s license, non-driver’s ID, passport, military ID, veterans ID, or Voter ID Card at the polls before they vote.
OBTAINING A VOTER REGISTRATION FORM
Online: Iowa Voter Registration Form
Voters can also register in person at:
By fax: Contact your local county auditor's office for faxing options.
VERIFYING YOUR VOTER REGISTRATION STATUS
ABSENTEE BALLOT QUALIFICATIONS
Who can vote absentee: Any registered voter in Iowa may request an absentee ballot through their county auditor.
OBTAINING AN ABSENTEE BALLOT
Online: Download a form and turn it in either by mail or in person.
In person: You may cast an absentee ballot in person at your county auditor's office before any election.
For voters who need assistance in marking their ballots, an accessible ballot marking device is available at the county auditor’s office.
For primary and general elections, absentee ballots will be available no earlier than 40 days at the county auditors’ offices. For all other elections, ballots will be available as soon as they are ready.
Military and overseas voting: Information on military voting can be found here and information on overseas voting can be found here.
The request form must be received in the county auditor’s office by 5 p.m. on the Friday before the election.
SUBMITTING AN ABSENTEE BALLOT
By Mail: Absentee ballots received in the county auditor's office by the time the polls close on election day are eligible for counting. Absentee ballots received after the polls close on election day must be postmarked by the Monday before election day or earlier and received in the county auditor's office no later than noon on the Monday following the election. For school and some city and special elections, the return deadline may be earlier. Read the instructions sent with the ballot.
Voted absentee ballots cannot be delivered to the polling place on election day. If you have not returned your absentee ballot on election day, you have the following options:
- Deliver your voted absentee ballot to the county auditor's office before the polls close on election day.
- Surrender your voted absentee ballot at the polls and vote a regular ballot, or
Vote a provisional ballot at the polls if you cannot surrender your voted absentee ballot
Verifying Registration: Iowa Online Voter Registration Verification
Deciding how to vote: https://votesmart.org
Polling Place: Online Polling Place Finder
Election Day FAQ: https://sos.iowa.gov/elections/voterinformation/edfaq.html
Problems with voting: Call the Voter Hotline at 1-888-SOS-VOTE
Verifying absentee ballot status: Iowa Absentee Ballot Tracker