How to vote in Iowa

This guide contains information about the 2018 midterm election held on November 6. It may be out-of-date.
 
Election day is Tuesday, November 6. Iowa allows any voter to request a ballot by mail. You can also vote in person. Iowa offers early voting.

Who can vote

To register in Iowa you must:
  • be a citizen of the United States
  • 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 (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
  • give up your right to vote in any other place

Vote in person

Vote on election day

Voters registered in Iowa can look up where to vote on Iowa's site or at GetToThePolls.com.

Vote early

Iowa voters can also vote before Election Day. The early voting period runs from Monday, October 8 to Monday, November 5, but dates and hours may vary based on where you live. You can look up when and where to vote early at GetToThePolls.com.

What to bring

  • Identification: Pre-registered voters are required to provide an approved form of ID or sign an oath of identification before casting a regular ballot. Approved forms of ID for pre-registered voters include an Iowa driver’s license or non-operator ID, US passport, tribal ID, US military or veteran ID, or an Iowa voter ID PIN card.
  • If you are registering to vote at the polls on election day, you must provide a current and valid photo ID. Approved forms of identification for election day registrants include the items listed above, excluding the Iowa Voter ID PIN Card. Additional acceptable forms of identification are an out-of-state driver’s license or non-operator ID, employer-issued ID, student ID issued by an Iowa high school or college, or a tribal ID.
  • Proof of residence: If your address has changed or you need to register at the polls on election day, you will also be required to provide proof of residence. If your current address is on your ID, then it may also serve as proof of residence. Proof of residence documents must include the voter’s name and address and be current within 45 days of presentation. These documents may be in an electronic format, such as on a cell phone or tablet. Additional approved proof of residence documents are a residential lease, utility bill (including a cell phone bill), bank statement, paycheck, government check or other government document, or a property tax statement.
  • Voters without ID: A voter without identification who is pre-registered in the county where they live may sign an oath of identification and will be allowed to cast a regular ballot. A voter whose address has changed or is registering to vote on election day who cannot provide sufficient proof of identification and/or residence may use an attester – another voter who lives and is registered in your precinct – or may cast a provisional ballot.

Vote by mail

  1. Request your mail-in ballot with a mail ballot application.
  2. Fill out the application completely.
  3. Submit the request to your local election office. You should request your ballot as far in advance of the election as possible. The deadline to request a ballot by mail is Saturday, October 27.
  4. When your ballot arrives, read it carefully and follow the instructions to complete it and return it.

See what's on the ballot

Learn more about what will be on your ballot at GetToThePolls.com or Ballotpedia.

Get step-by-step help

TurboVote can help you fill out your ballot request form, send you election reminders, and more. If you'd like more help planning how to vote, we can walk you through the process!

Military and overseas voters

Active-duty military, their families, and voters living outside the US can register to vote and request their absentee ballot using the Federal Post Card Application (FPCA). To do so:
  1. Fill out the Federal Post Card Application (FPCA), or download a copy. Your election official may have questions, so please provide an email address or phone number where they can reach you.
  2. Send the application to your election official.
  3. It is never too early to submit an FPCA! Please do so as soon as possible. You can look up recommended mailing dates by country and region.
  4. When your ballot arrives, read it carefully and follow the instructions to complete it and return it.
  5. States begin mailing absentee ballots at least 45 days before Election Day. If you haven't received your ballot by 30 days before Election Day, contact your local election office.
If after submitting your FPCA, your ballot does not arrive, contact your election official first. Then:
  • You can still vote using the Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot (FWAB). Print, sign, and mail your FWAB to your local election office.
  • If you mail a FWAB and then receive your regular absentee ballot, you should complete and mail your absentee ballot also. Election officials will ensure that only one ballot is counted.
The Federal Voting Assistance Program – FVAP.gov offers additional information on military and overseas voting in Iowa.

Check your voter registration status

You can look up your voter registration record and verify that your information is correct using Iowa's voter registration lookup tool.

Dates and deadlines

  • Election day is Tuesday, November 6.
  • The deadline to register online is Saturday, October 27.
  • The deadline for registering to vote by mail is Saturday, October 27.
  • The deadline to register to vote in person is Saturday, October 27.
  • The early voting period runs from Monday, October 8 to Monday, November 5, but dates and hours may vary based on where you live.
  • The deadline to request a ballot by mail is Saturday, October 27.
  • You can also register and vote on Election Day.

Election contact information for Iowa

Address:
Secretary of State
First Floor, Lucas Building, 321 E. 12th St.
Des Moines, IA 50319

Phone Number:
(888) 767-8683