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Iowa voter registration
- In Person: 10 days before Election Day. If you miss the deadline, you can also register to vote on Election Day.
- By Mail: Postmarked 15 days before Election Day or received 10 days before Election Day.
- Online: 10 days before Election Day.
If you have missed the voter registration deadline, you can still register to vote and a cast a ballot at the same time during early voting or on Election Day. Simply go to your regular polling place or early voting site to register and vote. Contact your Local Election Office if you have any questions.
- To register in Iowa you must:
- be a citizen of the United States
- be a resident of Iowa
- be at least 17 years old (you must be 18 to vote)
- not have been convicted of a felony (or have had your rights restored)
- not currently be judged by a court to be "incompetent to vote"
- not claim the right to vote in more than one place
- Use our Register to Vote Tool to fill out the National Voter Registration Form.
- Sign and date your form. This is very important!
- Mail or hand-deliver your completed form to the address we provide.
- Make sure you register before the voter registration deadline.
- If you have been convicted of a felony and have questions about whether you can register to vote, visit Restore Your Vote to determine your eligibility.
Iowa absentee ballots
- In Person: 1 day before Election Day 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.
- By Mail: 10 days before Election Day.
- Postmarked one day before Election Day and received 6 days after Election Day.
- Any registered Iowa voter may apply for an absentee ballot and vote by mail.
- Use our Absentee Ballot Tool to prepare your application.
- Sign and date the form. This is very important!
- Return your completed application to your Local Election Office as soon as possible. We'll provide the mailing address for you.
- All Local Election Offices will accept mailed or hand-delivered forms. If it's close to the deadline, call and see if your Local Election Office will let you fax or email the application.
- Make sure your application is received by the deadline. Your application must actually arrive by this time -- simply being postmarked by the deadline is insufficient.
- Please contact your Local Election Office if you have any further questions about the exact process.
- Once you receive the ballot, carefully read and follow the instructions.
- Sign and date where indicated.
- Mail your voted ballot back to the address indicated on the return envelope.
- Your voted ballot must arrive by the deadline or it will not be counted.
Iowa early voting
- 30 days before Election Day.
- 1 day before Election Day.
Iowa voter ID
If you are voting in person in Iowa, you will be asked to show a valid form of ID before voting at the polls, but if you do not have the necessary ID, you will still be able to cast a ballot if you sign an an oath verifying your identity.
Acceptable forms of ID include:
- Your valid Iowa Driver's License or non-operator ID
- Your passport
- Your Military ID
- Your Veterans ID
- Your Voter ID Card
- Tribal ID Card/Document
Beginning January 1, 2019, Iowa voters will be required to show ID at the polls to vote. Voters without the necessary ID will be offered a provisional ballot and can provide ID up until the Monday after Election Day.
You do not need to provide a valid form of ID with your absentee ballot. However, when requesting an absentee ballot in Iowa, you will be required to provide your Iowa driver's license/non-operator ID number or Voter ID card four-digit PIN number on your absentee ballot request form.