Voter Ready:
A Guide on Going to the Polls in Iowa

Ready to Vote 2019: Prepare to vote at the polls.

Be #VoterReady for the Iowa November 5th elections. A voting Iowan is an Iowan empowered to influence and create change at the federal, state, and local level, and casting your ballot is as easy as registering, providing proof of identification, and voting.

The first step is registering to vote. You can do this online, through the mail, or at the polls on Election Day.

Second, bring a valid form of identification to the polls.

The last step is just as easy – cast your ballot!

What You Need

Precinct election officials are required to ask voters registered in the county to show one of the valid forms of identification:

  • Iowa Driver’s License (not expired more than 90 days)
  • Iowa Non-Operator ID (not expired more than 90 days)
  • U.S. Passport (not expired)
  • U.S. Military ID or Veteran ID (not expired)
  • Iowa Voter Identification Card (must be signed)
  • Tribal ID Card/Document (must be signed, with photo, not expired)

An Iowa Voter Identification Card is provided automatically by the county auditor to each voter who does not have either an Iowa driver’s license or non-operator ID. If you have a question about the Iowa Voter Identification Card, or if you need to request a replacement, contact your county auditor.

A voter without one of the above forms of ID may have the voter’s identity attested to by another registered voter in the precinct or may prove identity and residence using Election Day Registration documents.


Important Dates

October 8th – City Primary Election Day

A city primary must be held for offices in cities with primary election provisions when the number of candidates who filed is more than twice the number of seats to be filled for an office. The polls must be open from 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Contact your county auditor to determine if your city is holding a primary election.

October 21st – Worry Free Postmark Date

Mailed voter registration forms which are postmarked on or before today are considered on time to be pre-registered for the regular City/School Election even if they are received after the voter pre-registration deadline.

October 25th – Voter Pre-Registration and Absentee by Mail Request Deadline

The deadline to pre-register to vote for the regular City/School Election is today. Registrations submitted in person or by mail, must be received by 5:00 p.m., unless they were postmarked on or before October 21. Online voter registration must be submitted by 11:59 p.m.

November 4th – Absentee Ballot In-Person Deadline

Last day to request and cast an absentee ballot in person in the auditor’s office.

November 5th – Regular City/School Election Day

Polls are open 7 a.m. until 8 p.m.

December 3rd – City Run-Off Election Day

Held only in cities with runoff provisions and for offices for which no one received a majority of the votes at the regular city election or if a write-in winner refused the office. The polls must be open from 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Contact your county auditor to determine if your city is holding a primary election.

Why Should I Vote

Your Vote Influences Government
No matter the result of any given election, lawmakers can see what matters to their constituents based on the number of votes cast.
Americans have fought for the right to vote
Our country's founders and generations of women and men have fought long and hard for the right to vote. Honor their dedication and efforts by exercising this hard-earned privilege.
More voters make democracy better
With every voter, our democracy becomes more representative and better able to serve.

The Polling Process

Ready, Set, VOTE!

Why Should I Vote in the City and School elections?

Voting is about making your voice heard. The United States of America gives the power to ‘we the people’ to choose our leaders and the type of government we want. As Abraham Lincoln famously said, a “government of the people, by the people, for the people”. We ensure it stays that way by registering to vote and casting our ballots. Local elections tend to have a much greater impact on our daily lives than races for federal office, which is why it is important for voters to make their voices heard in Iowa’s combined city/school election.

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