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Iowa Voting Quick Facts

Who Can Register to vote in Iowa

To register to vote in the State of Iowa , an individual must meet the following qualifications:

  • Be a United States Citizen
  • Be a Iowa resident
  • Be At least 17 1/2 years old (must be 18 years old by election day to vote)

You cannot register to vote if:

  • You are a convicted felon (unless your voting rights have been restored)
  • You are judged mentally incompetent to vote by a court
  • You claim the right to vote in any other place

Learn more about Who Can Register To Vote in Iowa?

How Do I Register To Vote in Iowa

Voting At The Polls On Election Day


You are encouraged to always bring identification with you when you vote.

You may be asked to show identification if:

  • You registered to vote by mail after January 1, 2003, and have never voted in a Primary or General election in your county,
  • You have moved from where you are registered to vote,
  • Your right to vote has been challenged, o
  • The precinct election officials do not know you.

If asked to show identification, you may use a current and valid photo ID or any of the following documents if they show your name and current address:

  • Current utility bill (including cell phone bill)
  • Current bank statement
  • Current paycheck or government check, or
  • Other current government document.

Learn more about Voting at the Polls on Election Day

Who Can Vote in Primary Elections in Iowa

Both Democrats and Republicans hold Semi-Closed Primaries

Voters must be registered voters of either the Democratic or Republican Party to participate in the primary election. Voters can change their party affiliation anytime before election day or at their polling place on election day.

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.

Click here for additional information

Who Can Vote Absentee in Iowa

Any registered voter in Iowa may request an absentee ballot through their county auditor.

Absentee Voting by Mail

  • Registered voters may request an absentee ballot to be sent to them by mail. You must complete an absentee ballot request form and return it to your county auditor. The request form does not need to be witnessed or notarized.
  • Someone who will be 18 years old by the date of an upcoming election may request an absentee ballot if he or she is pre-registered to vote.

Absentee Voting by Mail: Request Deadline

  • The request form must be received in the county auditor's office by 5 p.m.on the Friday before the election.
  • If the request is received so late that is unlikely the absentee ballot can be returned by mail in time to be considered for counting, the county auditor will enclose a statement to that effect with the absentee ballot.

Absentee Voting by Mail: Returning the Ballot

  • You can return your voted absentee ballot by mail. The ballot must be postmarked by the Monday before election day or earlier and received in the 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
  • Vote a provisional ballot at the polls if you cannot surrender your voted absentee ballot

Absentee Voting in Person

  • You may cast an absentee ballot in person at your county auditor's office before any election.
  • You must vote your absentee ballot at the auditor's office. You cannot take the ballot home with you.
  • For voters who need assistance in marking their ballots, an AutoMARK ballot marking device is available 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.
  • In-person absentee voting is not available on election day at the auditor's office unless the polls open at noon. If the polls open at noon, you may cast an absentee ballot at the county auditor's office from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. on election day.

Learn more about Voting by Absentee In Iowa

What If My Address Has Changed


  • If you moved within the county, you may also report a change of address on election day at the polling place for the address where you live. You may be asked to show identification which shows your name and current address. Acceptable forms of identification are:
  • Current and valid photo ID
  • Utility bill
  • Bank statement
  • Paycheck
  • Government check or other government document
  • If you moved to a different county, you may register to vote on election day.

College Student

  • At School. Iowa law expressly allows students who consider themselves residents of Iowa as well as another place (such as their parent’s home) to choose either their home or school address for voter registration and voting purposes.[12] Students have the right to cast a ballot as a resident of Iowa regardless of whether they pay in-state or out-of-state tuition.

Learn more about Movers/college students Voting

Have A Question?

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When Is The Next Election?

Upcoming Elections Calendar - Election dates and deadlines - Check Iowa upcoming elections schedule

Poll Hours: 7:00 AM-9:00 PM

For Primary and General Elections, the polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. statewide. For other elections, please contact your county auditor for the polling place hours.

How can I find my polling location?

If you do not know where your polling place is,you can use to Find Your Polling Place. If you have any issues or questions, please contact your County Clerk

Can I Register At The Polls On Election Day?

IOWA : Yes

You may register to vote on Election Day at the polling place for the precinct where you currently live. If you register to vote on Election Day, you will be required to show proof of both residency and identity.

Can I Take Time Off For Voting?

Any person entitled to vote at an election in this state who does not have three consecutive hours in the period between the time of the opening and the time of the closing of the polls during which the person is not required to be present at work for an employer, is entitled to such time off from work time to vote as will in addition to the person's nonworking time total three consecutive hours during the time the polls are open. Application by any employee for such absence shall be made individually and in writing prior to the date of the election, and the employer shall designate the period of time to be taken. The employee is not liable to any penalty nor shall any deduction be made from the person's regular salary or wages on account of such absence.

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