Instructions for voting

Unsure where to start? Follow the steps below.

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    How To: Register to Vote

    Voter registration requirements and deadlines. Register to vote

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    How To: Vote

    Find out how, where, and when to vote. How to vote

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Get Out The Vote!

How to Register to Vote

Register Online

You’ll need your Iowa driver’s license or non-operator’s ID and birthday to register online.

Register Online


Check if you’re registered to vote

sos.iowa.gov

1. Get the voter registration form.

Get the form


2. Fill out the form

Step 1 · Check the boxes to indicate you’re a US citizen and will be at least 18 years old by Election Day, Nov 8

Step 2 · Provide your Iowa driver’s license number, your non-operation ID number, or the last 4 digits of your Social Security number. If you don’t have any of these, check the appropriate box.

Step 3 · Provide your birthday, gender, and email (email is optional)

Step 4 · Provide your name

Step 5 · Provide your address, or describe where you reside if you don’t have an address

Step 6 · Provide your mailing address (if different from Step 5)

Step 7 · If you’re reporting a change in your name or address, provide your previous name or address information

Step 8 · Provide your political party or check the box for “no party”

Step 9 · Sign and date form


3. Send the form.

Mail your completed form by Oct 24 to your county auditor.


Check if you’re registered to vote

sos.iowa.gov

1. Get the voter registration form.

Before Oct 29 · Pick up the form at your county auditor, a Motor Vehicle driver’s license station, or a County Treasurers’ office that issues driver’s licenses

Sep 29–Nov 7 · Fill out the form the form at your early voting location

Nov 8 · Fill out the form at your voting location


2. Fill out the form

Step 1 · Check the boxes to indicate you’re a US citizen and will be at least 18 years old by Election Day, Nov 8

Step 2 · Provide your Iowa driver’s license number, your non-operation ID number, or the last 4 digits of your Social Security number. If you don’t have any of these, check the appropriate box.

Step 3 · Provide your birthday, gender, and email (email is optional)

Step 4 · Provide your name

Step 5 · Provide your address, or describe where you reside if you don’t have an address

Step 6 · Provide your mailing address (if different from Step 5)

Step 7 · If you’re reporting a change in your name or address, provide your previous name or address information

Step 8 · Provide your political party or check the box for “no party”

Step 9 · Sign and date form


3. Provide a copy of accepted ID, if required

If you’re registering in person at your early vote location Sep 29–Nov 7, or at your voting location on Nov 8, you’ll need to bring one of the following:

  • Iowa driver’s license
  • Iowa non-operator’s ID card
  • Out-of-state driver’s license or non-operator’s ID card
  • US passport
  • US military ID card
  • ID card issued by an employer
  • Student ID card issued by an Iowa high school or an Iowa college

If the photo ID doesn’t have your current address, you’ll also need another document that shows your name and current address:

  • Residential lease
  • Property tax statement
  • Utility bill (including a cell phone bill)
  • Bank statement
  • Paycheck
  • Government check
  • Other government document

4. Return the form

Turn in your form by Oct 29 to your county auditor or the other government office where you picked up the form

You can also fill out and return the form at your early voting location Sep 29–Nov 7, or at your Election Day voting location on Nov 8


Check if you’re registered to vote

sos.iowa.gov

Registration requirements

  • Be a US citizen
  • Live at an Iowa address
  • Be at least 17 ½ years old
  • Not be convicted of a felony (unless your voting rights have been restored)
  • Not be currently judged by a court as incompetent to vote
Online
October 29

Mail
October 24

In Person
October 29

How to Vote

Vote early
Sep 29–Nov 7

Bring an accepted form of ID, if required


Vote on Election Day
Nov 8

Polls are open from 7 AM–9 PM. If you’re in line at your polling place by 9 PM, you’re allowed to vote.

Bring an accepted form of ID, if required.


Who can vote early

All registered voters can vote early in person

Who can vote by mail

All registered voters can vote by mail.


1. Get the absentee ballot application

Download and print the absentee ballot application.

Get the form


2. Fill out the form

Steps 1–2 · Provide your name and birthday

Step 3 · Provide either your Iowa driver’s license number, non-operator ID number, or the last 4 digits of your Social Security number

Steps 4–5 · Provide your home address, and provide the address where the ballot should be mailed (if different)

Steps 6–7 · Provide your phone number and email address

Step 8 · To receive an absentee ballot for the general election on Nov 8, check the box for “General”

Step 9 · Sign and date the form


3. Submit the form

Mail your application to your County Auditor’s office so it’s received by 5 PM on Nov 4

Mail your absentee ballot application to your Absentee Election Manager so it’s received by Nov 3


4. Vote
  • Once you receive your ballot, follow the instructions to fill out the ballot and return envelope
  • Mail your ballot by Nov 7 to your County Auditor’s office
  • Check the status of your ballot at sos.iowa.gov
Absentee ballot mailed by
November 7

Vote early
Sep 29–Nov 7

Bring an accepted form of ID, if required


Vote on Election Day

November 8

Polls are open from 7 AM–9 PM. If you’re in line at your polling place by 9 PM, you’re allowed to vote.

Bring an accepted form of ID, if required

Voting requirements
  • Be registered to vote in Iowa. Check if you’re registered to vote.
  • Be a US citizen
  • Be an Iowa resident
  • Be 18 years by Election Day
  • Not be a convicted felon, unless your voting rights have been restored
  • Not be judged mentally incompetent to vote by a court

ID requirements

If you’re not voting for the first time in Iowa, you don’t need to provide ID to vote by mail or in person

You might need to show ID if you’ve never voted in Iowa before, you registered by mail, and you did not include your Iowa driver’s license number, Iowa non-operator’s ID card number, or the last 4 digits of your Social Security number on your registration form.

Acceptable forms of ID include:

  • Current photo ID
  • A copy of a current utility bill
  • A copy of a current bank statement
  • A copy of a current government check, paycheck, or other government document that shows your name and address

Frequently Asked Questions

You do not need to provide ID if you’ve already voted in Iowa at least once. If you are a first-time voter who registered to vote by mail, and you did not meet the ID requirements when you registered to vote, then you should include a copy of your ID with your absentee ballot application. Acceptable forms of ID include: a COPY of a current and valid photo ID OR a COPY of a utility bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck or government document which shows your name and Iowa address.
If you’re registering for the first time in Iowa and you do not have an Iowa driver’s license number, or an Iowa non-driver ID card number, then you must include a copy of your ID with your voter registration form. If you forget, you’ll need to provide ID the first time you vote in person or by absentee ballot. Acceptable forms of ID include: a copy of a current photo ID with your name and Iowa address OR a copy of a utility bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck or government document which shows your name and Iowa address. If you register to vote in person on election day, bring a copy of your ID with you to the polls!