Some elections in this list are local and do not apply for all Iowa voters. Please click the “View all” button below to view all election dates in your state.
Absentee voting is available and no excuse is required. County election officials may only send out absentee ballot request forms if requested. You can return your absentee ballot request form through the mail or in person. The last day to vote in-person absentee at your county auditor’s office is Monday, November 1. Mail-in ballots must be received by the close of polls on Election Day in order to be counted. You can sign up to track your absentee ballot on your Secretary of State website. Contact your local elections office for more information.
REQUESTING AND RETURNING YOUR ABSENTEE BALLOT:
Applications for absentee ballots can be obtained online in a PDF format, or mailed upon request from the Secretary of State. You can also request a ballot by mailing the application to the county auditor/commissioner of elections in the county where you are registered.
You must provide ID information on your absentee ballot request forms. All request forms must include your driver's license/non-driver's ID number or your Voter ID Card's four-digit PIN number. Request forms without these forms of ID will not be accepted.
A written application for a mailed absentee ballot must be received by the voter's County Auditor no later than 5:00 p.m. 15 days before the election. If the request is for the general election, the deadline to request a ballot by mail is the Saturday, ten days before the election. If the request is received so late that it 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.
For primary and general elections, the ballots are mailed no later than 20 days before election day. For other elections, ballots are mailed to voters as soon as they are ready. The county auditor will include instructions on how to mark the ballot as well as how to return the ballot.
Mail ballots must be received by the county auditor's office by the time polls close on Election Day (8:00 pm) in order to be counted. Voted absentee ballots cannot be delivered to the polling place on election day.
NOTE: You may designate an individual who lives in your household or a member of your immediate family to return your ballot using one of the above methods. Your ballot must be received by 8:00 PM CT on Election Day. Blind and/or disabled voters may designate a delivery agent to return their voted absentee ballot.
Voting in Person after Requesting an Absentee Ballot
Voters have the option to deliver their absentee ballot to the county auditor's office before the polls close on election day, surrender their voted absentee ballot at the polls and vote a regular ballot, or vote a provisional ballot at the polls if they cannot surrender their absentee ballot.
County Auditors may use Satellite Absentee Voting Stations to provide absentee voting at places other than the Auditors office. You must mark your ballot at the station and leave it with the officials. All satellite stations must be accessible to people with disabilities. Note: Under a new Iowa law, satellite voting sites may only be set up if enough voters petition for oneRequest your Ballot
To see a list of available races, visit the race index.
The early voting period begins 20 days before Election Day. You can vote at your County Auditor's office Monday-Friday 8am to 5pm. Saturday early voting is available the last 2 Saturdays before the election. You will need to fill out the Absentee Ballot Request Form used in Iowa for In-Person Absentee “Early” voting. Note: Using a label printed from the check-in tablet is no longer a valid method of completing the form.
You are required to show an ID when voting early in person. You can find more information on acceptable forms of ID, here.
To be eligible to vote, you must be:
To register to vote you must provide a states driver's license number or your social security number if you have one. There is a box for your to check on the voter registration form if you have neither of those numbers. If you are registering to vote for the first time at the polls on Election Day, or after a recent move, you must prove both who you are and where you live.
You can use any of these forms of ID as long as they are current, valid and contain an expiration date:
If your photo ID does not contain your current address, you may use another document to prove where you live. The following are acceptable proof of residence as long as they contain your name and current address and are current within 45 days:
If you are asked for ID and you don't have any of the documents listed above, you can have another voter who is registered in your precinct who knows you vouch for your ID and residence.
If you don't have the needed ID and don't have another voter to vouch for you, you may cast a provisional ballot.
Voters are 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. Voters without the necessary ID will be offered a provisional ballot and can provide ID up until the time of the county canvass of votes (Monday after election day for Primary and General Elections).
What is a valid form of ID to show at the polls?
· Iowa Driver's License
· Iowa Non-Operator's ID
· Military ID
· U.S. Passport
· Tribal ID
· Veteran's ID
· Voter ID Card
What about voters who don’t have an ID?
Any registered voter who does not have a valid driver's license or non-operator's ID issued by the Iowa Department of Transportation will be issued a Voter ID Card for free, automatically, in the mail. This also applies to anyone who registers to vote in the future. Upon receipt of the Voter ID Card, it should be immediately signed. Obtaining the Voter ID Card does not require any further documentation or action by the voter; voters simply need to be registered to vote in the county where they live
Voters can call or text 844-338-8743 at any time to reach VoteRiders Voter ID Helpline
Official results are never available on Election Day. Election officials are working around the clock to count an unprecedented number of ballots, and it’s essential that they take the time to make sure every vote is counted.
Absentee ballots begin being counted the day before Election Day. Provisional ballots are counted Thursday after Election Day.
Official election results will be uploaded on Iowa’s Secretary of State website as they become available.Official Results
You are a Military or Overseas voter if you are in uniformed services, living overseas OR a spouse or dependent of a uniformed services voter. To get registered and vote, you can utilize Overseas Vote Foundation.
If you have additional questions about elections and voting overseas you can use our state specific elections official directory or contact the Overseas Vote Foundation.
In order to be a poll worker in Iowa, you must be:
To sign up, contact your local board of elections.
Polls are open from 7:00 am to 8:00 pm.
If your name is not on the list of registered voters, you may register to vote at the polls on Election day and vote a regular ballot. If you do not have the proper forms of ID to register on Election Day, or if someone challenges your right to vote on Election day, you may cast a provisional ballot.
The envelope has a place for you to explain why you believe that the ballot should count. Before you leave the polls, you will be given a written notice explaining your voting rights and listing the date on which the special ballot board will meet. If your ballot is not counted, you will receive a letter in the mail explaining why it cannot be counted.
Provisional ballots are counted the Thursday after Election Day.
If you need help marking your ballot because of a disability or because you can't read English, any person you choose may help you, except your employer, your employer's agent or an officer or agent of your union. If you want help from the precinct workers, one person from each political party will help you. You will need to sign a form indicating that you asked for help. All voting instructions at the polls are printed in large type.
If you cannot get into the polling place because of a disability, two precinct workers will bring a ballot to your vehicle. They may also help you mark the ballot, but only if you request assistance. You do not have to tell anyone ahead of time that you will need to vote in your car. However, you may want to call ahead or bring someone with you to tell the precinct workers that you need to vote in your car.
Each polling place has a Voter Assist Terminal. Voters here can use features such as touch screens, audio assistance or a sip and puff element to select their candidates.
If you have questions or concerns about voting accessibility, please contact your county auditor's office or your Secretary of State's office. A voter guide is also available on audio cassette from the Library for the Blind. To request one you can call 515-281-1333 or 1-800-362-2587. Each precinct also provides a braille version of voter instructions and voter rights.
For more information, you can utilize the Association of People With Disabilities resource.
You can now register to vote or update your voter registration online! You will need your Iowa driver's license or ID number to register online. You may also register to vote by mail. You will receive your voter registration card from your county auditor within two weeks.
Election Day Registration: You may register in person on Election Day! Be sure to bring the correct voter ID to the polls in order to successfully register at the polls.
Pre-Registration Deadline is at 5 pm on the Monday 15 days before Election Day. Paper Voter Registration forms must be received in the Auditor’s office or be postmarked by that time. Online registrations must also be submitted by this deadline.
NOTE: You may be removed from active voting lists if you miss a single general election and don’t report a change in address or register as a Iowa voter again.
If your work schedule doesn't give you 2 consecutive hours off work while the polls are open, you have the right to take up to three hours off from work to vote.
You must make a written request for time off to vote to your employer before election day. Your employer has the right to specify which hours you get to take off. You cannot be penalized and deductions cannot be made from your regular salary or wages on account of this absence
To verify your voter registration statusclick here!
The voting systems used in Iowa are optical scan and Hand counted paper ballots.
Optical Scanning: With this system, you will receive a card or sheet of paper, which you take over to a private table or booth. The card has the names of the various candidates and ballot measures printed on it. With a pen or pencil you fill in a little box or circle or the space between two arrows. In some places, you can check your card or paper right there at the polling place by feeding it into a card-reading machine to make sure you have voted the way you want to. When you are finished filling out all the cards. You may bring the cards over to a ballot box, where poll workers will show you how to put the cards in the box. Or in some places, you may feed the completed cards or papers into a computer device that counts the votes. When Election Day is over, the computer counts how many votes were cast for each candidate.
Paper Ballots: Paper ballots are one of the oldest ways of voting in America. They are still used on Election Day. Paper ballots are mostly used for absentee ballots. When you come to the polling place, you will get a paper ballot from the poll worker. You take it to the voting booth, and use a pen or pencil to mark a box next to your candidate and issue choices. You then drop the marked ballot into a sealed ballot box. At the end of the day, votes are counted by poll workers reading the ballots.