To register to vote in the State of Iowa an individual must meet the following qualifications:
- Be a United States Citizen
- Be a resident of Iowa
- Be at least 17 - 1/2 years old (you must be 18 to vote)
- Not have been convicted of a felony (unless your rights have been restored)
- Not currently be judged "incompetent to vote" by a court
- Give up your right to vote in any other place
- Must register to vote 10 days before a primary or general election and 11 days for all others.
Can select party affiliation at the polls.
Can register to vote in person or obtain a mail-in application from:
- Office of the County Auditor
- Office of the Iowa Secretary of State
- Driver's license stations
- Public assistance agencies
- State offices serving people with disabilities
- Some city clerks and school board secretaries can register voters
- Public libraries
- Political party offices
You can also obtain an online voter registration application online.
An absentee ballot application may be requested in writing, by fax, or by phone from the county auditor's office. Find your county auditor here.
An application can also be found online.
Ballots for primary and general elections will be available at least 40 days before the election. If the Auditor receives your request more than 40 days before the election they will file the request in their office and mail you a ballot when the ballots are available. The auditor must receive your request by 5 p.m. the Friday before the election.
If mailing in your ballot, they must be postmarked before Election Day and received by noon the Monday after most elections. Learn more about mailing in your ballot here.
If returning your ballot in person, it must be taken to the county auditor's office by the voter or someone the voter chooses. In order to be counted, ballots must be returned to the county auditor's office before the polls close on Election Day.
You may also vote absentee in person at your county auditor's office or a satellite absentee voting station before Election Day. County auditor's offices are open the two Saturdays before all Primary and General elections.
You must return your absentee ballot even if you do not vote. After receiving an absentee ballot, if you decide to vote at your polling place on Election Day, turn in the absentee ballot at the polls. You will be asked to vote on special ballot if you do not turn in your absentee ballot.
For more election and voter information you can contact the Iowa Secretary of State's Office.