Iowa

Upcoming Elections

Last updated: March 2022

Voting in Iowa

When You Can Vote

Election Day: Polls are open from 7:00AM to 8:00PM Central Time on Election Day, or until the last person in line at 8:00PM has voted.

Absentee In-Person Voters may vote at their County Auditor’s office in the twenty days (October 19, 2022) prior to Election Day during the office’s usual business hours (location and hours can be found at County Auditor List (iowa.gov)). Absentee ballots by mail must be received by the County Auditor prior to when polls close at 8:00PM on Election Day.

Where You Can Vote

How to find your polling place: Visit the Iowa Secretary of State’s Precinct/Polling Place Locator webpage to determine where you should vote.

Absentee In-Person voters can vote at their County Auditor’s office, visit the Iowa Secretary of State’s Find Your County Auditor webpage for locations and hours.

Registering to Vote

Registration Deadlines

  • For registration deadlines, see How to Register below.

How to Check Your Registration: Voters can determine whether they are registered to vote at the following link: Am I Registered?.

You are eligible to vote in Iowa if you:

  • Are a U.S citizen
  • Are a resident of Iowa
  • Are at least 18 years old by Election Day

You are NOT eligible to vote in Iowa if:

  • You have been legally declared “mentally incompetent” by a court
  • You are registered to vote in another state
  • You are currently serving a sentence including incarceration, parole, probation, or extended supervision for a felony conviction

Restorative Requirements

  • If you have completed a felony sentence, including any term of incarceration, parole, supervision, period of probation, or you have been pardoned, then you are immediately eligible to register to vote

Exception: This does not apply to individuals convicted of crimes found in Iowa Code Chapter 707, including homocide and related crimes.

You may preregister to vote in Iowa

  • At the age of 17

At the age of 17, you may vote in a Primary Election if you will be 18 on or by Election Day.

How to register 

Iowa residents may pre-register to vote by completing the form online at Voter Registration (iowa.gov).

Iowa residents may also pre-register using the paper form, downloadable at voteapp.pdf (iowa.gov) or provided at the County Auditor’s office, and submitting the completed form by mail or in-person to the County Auditor by the registration deadline.

Iowa also offers Same-day registration on Election Day by appearing at the precinct in which the voter resides and completing a voter registration application.

Voting Early & by Absentee Ballot

If You Want to Vote Absentee, requests may be made:

  • In-Person
  • By Mail

Absentee Ballots may be returned:

  • In-Person
  • By Mail

Iowa voters who wish to vote early may do so either by absentee voting by mail or by absentee voting in person at the County Auditor’s office. More information regarding absentee voting can be found at the Iowa Secretary of State’s website.

Iowa voters may apply for absentee ballots beginning 70 days prior to the election and until 15 days prior to the election. Applications can be downloaded from the Iowa Secretary of State’s website, which requires applicants to provide their Iowa Driver’s License or Non-Operator ID number or the four digit PIN located on their Iowa Voter ID card. Any voter may request an Iowa Voter ID card by contacting their County Auditor’s office, visit the Iowa Secretary of State’s Find Your County Auditor webpage for locations and hours. The completed absentee ballot application must be submitted to and received by the County Auditor’s office prior to the close of the office on the 15th day prior to the election.

Iowa absentee voters can track the status of their application and their absentee ballots by visiting the Iowa Secretary of State’s Track Your Absentee Ballot website.
Completed absentee ballots must be sent to and received by the County Auditor’s office prior to the polls closing on Election Day. Ballots received after this deadline will not be counted. Visit the Iowa Secretary of State’s Find Your County Auditor webpage for office locations and hours. Voters can also drop off completed absentee ballots at their County Auditor’s office and must be dropped off prior to close of polls on Election Day in order to count.

Identification Requirements

Voter Registration

To register to vote in Iowa you should provide:

  • Valid Iowa Driver’s License

If you do not have this form of ID, Iowa will also accept:

  • Valid Student ID from State School
  • Veteran’s ID
  • Valid Employee ID
  • Valid US Passport
  • Valid Military ID
  • Out of State Driver’s License or Non-driver ID
  • Valid Iowa non-driver’s ID
  • Valid Tribal ID

If your ID does not contain your current address, you may use the following documents to show proof of residence that is current within 45 days:

  • Utility Bill, Bank Statement, Government Check, or Paycheck that Shows your current name and address
  • Government Issued Document that shows your current name and address
  • Lease or rent agreement

This proof can be on paper or in electronic format. Note that a mobile phone bill also counts as a utility bill.

Voting In-Person

When you vote absentee in-person, or if you vote in-person on Election Day, you are required to show valid id including:

  • Valid Iowa non-driver’s ID
  • Valid Iowa Voter ID Card
  • Valid Iowa Driver’s License
  • Veteran’s ID
  • Valid Military ID
  • U.S. Passport

If you don’t have acceptable id, another registered voter in your precinct can attest for you. Or you can use registration documents to prove your identification and residency. If your ID does not show your current address, you may also provide a property tax bill. You may use a provisional ballot if these options are not available to you.

Iowa voters may request a replacement Voter Identification Card from their County Auditor, visit the Iowa Secretary of State’s Find Your County Auditor webpage for office locations and hours.

Iowa Driver’s Licenses and Non-Operator’s IDs cannot be expired for more than 90 days to be a valid form of identification. U.S. Passports, Military IDs or Veteran IDs, or Tribal ID Cards/Documents must not be expired to be a valid form of identification. Iowa Voter IDs must be signed in order to be a valid form of identification.

Voters in Iowa will be asked to show at least one of the forms of identification listed above. Voters who mail in their absentee ballot are not required to provide any additional form of identification other than that used to apply for the absentee ballot.

A voter without one of the above listed forms of identification may have the voter’s identity attested to by another registered voter in the precinct or may prove identity and residence using Election Day Registration documents.

Voters without the necessary identification or an attester will be offered a provisional ballot.

If You Have Moved Within Your State

Moving within the Same County:

Voters that have moved to a new precinct in the same county will need to provide proof of residence. This can be done by showing one of the following documents in either paper or electronic format:

  • Residential lease
  • Utility bill (such as a cell phone bill)
  • Bank statement
  • Paycheck
  • Government check
  • Other government document
  • Property tax statement (current within 45 days of final payment date)

Proof of residence must include the name and correct address and be current within 45 days.

Moving Between Counties or from out-of-State:

Voters that have moved addresses from outside of their new county of residence will need to re-register at their correct polling place corresponding to their new address before voting.

If You Are in the Military or Are an Overseas Voter

Voting Military

Service members and their dependents may register and request a ballot using the overseas voter registration/ballot request form (“FPCA”). You may include the following ID:

  • Iowa ID Card
  • Last 4 Digits of your Social Security Number

If you do not have either of these numbers you must enter in Section 6: “I do not have a Social Security Number or Iowa-issued ID number.”

Voting Overseas

U.S. citizens living overseas may register and request a ballot using the overseas voter registration/ballot request form. You may include the following ID:

  • Iowa ID Card
  • Last Four Digits of your Social Security Number

If you do not have either of these numbers you must enter in Section 6: “I do not have a Social Security Number or Iowa-issued ID number.”

Information for Military and Overseas Voters can be found on the Iowa Secretary of State’s website

Registering and Requesting an Absentee Ballot

Iowa voters living abroad can register to vote and request an absentee ballot by completing a Federal Postcard Application (FPCA) online or downloading, completing, and submitting an application form by mail or fax to their County Auditor’s office. The residence for voting purposes is the voter’s last registered address or their last address before leaving the U.S. The normal registration deadline does not apply. Though the federal Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act (UOCAVA) says voters can request a ballot by mail through the day before the election, they must request their ballot with enough time to return the ballot on time.

Receiving and Returning an Absentee Ballot

The FPCA application is honored for only the federal election held during the calendar year in which it was submitted. If a voter would like ballots for all elections, make sure that is indicated in the FPCA application.

Some specific military voters may be eligible to return their voted ballot by email or fax if they are an active member of the army, navy, marine corps, merchant marine, coast guard, air force, or Iowa National Guard and are outside the U.S. or any of its territories. These ballots must be received in the County Auditor’s office before the polls close on Election Day.

Other overseas voters must return their voted absentee ballot by mail even if the voter received their ballot by email or fax. If the voter uses the return envelope provided and either the U.S. Postal Service or the FPO/APO mail system, postage is free. Otherwise, postage must be paid. The ballot 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 Election Day.

Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot and Other Voting Alternatives for Military and Overseas Voters

The Federal Write-in Absentee Ballot (FWAB) can be used by Military and Overseas voters as a backup option to the FPCA. These voters can use this FWAB whether located inside or outside the United States (including APO and FPO addresses), provided they are away from their voting residence for service-related activities. The FWAB must be postmarked by Election day and received at the County Auditor’s office by the Monday following Election Day. For specific instructions, visit the FVAP’s Iowa-specific webpage.

Iowa allows Proxy Requests, an absentee ballot request submitted on behalf of a military or overseas voter by a family member. Only certain family members of the voter may submit a request. They include spouses, parents, parents-in-law, adult siblings, or adult children. The family member must live in the county of the voter’s residence. The request must be sent to the County Auditor’s office. They cannot be made until 70 days before the election and must be received by the ballot request deadline.

Iowa also allows for military and overseas voters to request Special Write-in Absentee ballots. Requests for these ballots cannot be made until 120 days before the election and must be made before regular ballots are available. The request must include the following statement:

“To the best of my belief I will be outside the continental United States and unable to vote and return a regular absentee ballot by normal mail delivery within the period provided for regular absentee ballots. I request a special write-in absentee ballot.”Contact the County Auditor’s office for more information about these ballots.

If You Have a Felony Conviction

Iowa residents with misdemeanor convictions are eligible to vote, and if currently incarcerated are eligible to vote by absentee ballot.

Iowa residents with a felony conviction (except for felony homicide offenses) can have their voting rights restored automatically once all terms of their sentence are completed and they are not required to have repaid court costs, fines, or restitution.

Iowa residents with felony homicide convictions may apply for restoration of voting rights once the person has discharged probation and parole and completed repayment of all outstanding costs or is on a payment plan to complete repayment. Anyone currently incarcerated on a felony conviction cannot vote until all terms of their sentence are completed, and they apply to the Governor for restoration of voting rights. More information on the impact of criminal convictions on voting rights can be found on the Iowa Secretary of State’s website.

Questions about voting in Iowa?

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