Iowa | Voting Guide
Registration Deadlines and Election Dates
Voter Pre-Registration Deadline: 15 days before Election Day.
Eligible voters can also register to vote and cast a ballot at the same time at their assigned voting or caucus location. Election Day registration information is available at: https://sos.iowa.gov/elections/voterinformation/edr.html.
Official Election Websites
Register at School or Home
Students have a decision about where to register to vote.
You have a right to register to vote at the address you consider the place where you live, whether that is your family's home or the place where you attend school. You should update your registration anytime this home address changes.
You may only be registered and vote in one location.
What Type of ID Do I Need to Register?
If you are registering to vote online, you must provide your Iowa driver's license number or Iowa ID card number, or the last four digits of your Social Security number.
Iowa’s paper voter registration form asks you for your Iowa driver’s license number, Iowa ID card number, or the last four digits of your Social Security number. Be sure to provide one of these numbers if you have it.
If you are registering to vote at the polls on Election Day, you must produce a photo ID that is current, valid, and contains an expiration date, such as:
Iowa driver’s license, non-driver state ID card, or Iowa Voter ID card
Out-of-state driver’s license or state ID card
U.S. military ID
ID card issued by your employer
Student ID issued by Iowa high school or college
If your photo ID does not contain your current address, you must supplement your photo ID with acceptable proof of residence that contains your name and current address that was issued within 45 days of Election Day, including but not limited to:
Utility bill (including cell phone bill)
Government check or other government document
Property tax statement
If you do not have any of these IDs or documents, a registered voter from your precinct may attest that you are who you say you are and that you live in the precinct. This requires both you and the registered voter to sign an oath swearing that your statements are true.
What Type of ID Do I Need to Vote?
You are required to show ID before voting in Iowa.
Accepted voter IDs include the following:
Iowa driver’s license or non-driver state ID card
Iowa Voter ID card
U.S. military ID
Veteran Health Identification Card issued by U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
Voters without one of these forms of ID may vote using the proofs of identity and residence needed to register to vote on Election Day or use an attestor. See above for more information.
Where Do I Vote?
Make a plan. Look up your voting site and hours at: https://sos.iowa.gov/elections/voterreg/pollingplace/search.aspx
How Can I Vote?
Any registered voter may vote by mail in Iowa
Applications must be received by your county auditor’s office by no later than 5 p.m. on the 15th day before Election Day
Complete mail-in ballots may be returned in-person at your county auditor's office or by mail. Completed mail-in ballots must be received by your county auditor’s office by the close of polls on Election Day. They cannot be returned to a polling place on Election Day.
Early in-person voting begins no more than 29 days before an election at your county auditor’s office. Check with your county auditor’s office for information about locations and times.
Election voting sites will be open from 7:00 am until 8:00 p.m. on Election Day. If you are in line by the closing time then you have the right to vote.
Voters with disabilities may vote curbside. For more information, visit: https://sos.iowa.gov/disabilities.html
For primary and general elections, voting sites will be open from 7:00 a.m. until 9:00 p.m. on Election Day. For City/school elections voting sites will be open from 7:00 a.m. until 8:00 p.m. on Election Day. For special elections, please contact your county auditor for more information. For any election, if you are in line by the closing time, you must be allowed to vote.
Election Day registrants will be able to cast regular ballots, unless they are voting in a location that does not have electronic poll books. Election Day registrants in voting locations without electronic poll books will cast a provisional ballot that will count as long as their name does not appear in a felon database. No action is needed on the part of the voter to make these ballots count. Most Iowa precincts have electronic poll books.
Registering to Vote Does Not Affect Your:
Federal Financial Aid
Where you register to vote will not affect federal financial aid such as Pell Grants, Perkins or Stafford loans, or your dependency status for FAFSA.
Status as a Dependent on Your Parents’ Taxes
Being registered to vote at a different address from your parents does not prevent them from claiming you as a dependent on their taxes.
Being deemed out-of-state for tuition purposes does not prevent you from choosing to register to vote in your campus community.
Will registering to vote in Iowa affect my driver’s license or car registration?
As a full time student in Iowa, you may be required to obtain an Iowa driver's license and update your car's registration, regardless of whether you register to vote there. For more information, contact the Iowa Motor Vehicle Division.
Fair Elections Center and Campus Vote Project intend the information contained herein to be used only as a general guide. This document should not be used as a substitute for consultation with a licensed Iowa legal professional.
Last updated July 2021