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Voting Guide

Registration Deadlines and Election Dates

Voter Pre-Registration Deadline: 5:00pm 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 on Election Day. More information on same-day registration is available at:

2024 Election Information

Presidential Caucus: January 15 (please check state political party websites for additional information regarding voter registration deadlines for the 2024 caucus.)

Non-presidential Primary: June 4

  • Pre-registration Deadline: May 20

  • Mail Ballot Application Deadline: May 20

General Election: November 5

  • Pre-registration Deadline: October 21

  • Mail Ballot Application Deadline: October 21

Official Election Websites

More election information at:

Online voter registration available at:

Mail-in PDF voter registration form available at:

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?

Online Registration: If you are registering to vote online, you must provide your Iowa driver's license number or Iowa ID card number, as well as the last five digits of your Social Security number. Please see the link above for Iowa’s online voter registration portal.

Paper Voter Registration Application: 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.

Same Day Registration: Residents of Iowa may register to vote and cast their ballot at the same time at the polls on Election Day. To register and vote same 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

  • Student ID issued by Iowa high school or college

  • U.S. passport

  • U.S. military ID

  • ID card issued by your employer

  • Tribal ID

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 is dated or describes terms of tenancy current to within 45 days of registration, including but not limited to:

  • Residential lease

  • Utility bill (including cell phone bill)

  • Bank statement

  • Paycheck

  • 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 you and the registered voter to sign an oath swearing that your statements are true.

What Type of ID Do I Need to Vote?

Iowa voters are required to show an ID before voting. Acceptable photo IDs include the following:

  • Iowa driver’s license or non-driver state ID card

  • Iowa Voter ID card

  • U.S. passport

  • U.S. military ID or Veteran ID

  • Tribal ID or document

If you do not have one of the above forms of ID,  you may vote by having a registered voter sign an oath attesting to your eligibility to vote or by using other forms of proving your identity and residency as listed above in the Same Day Registration section of this guide.

Where Do I Vote?

Make a plan. Look up your voting site and hours at:

How Can I Vote?

By Mail: Any registered voter may vote by mail in Iowa. The applicationrequires voters to provide either an Iowa driver’s license or ID card, or the four-digit voter pin on their Voter ID card. To avoid delays, voters who cannot recall whether they registered to vote using a driver’s license or ID card number should provide both their voter pin number and their driver’s license or ID card number.

  • Mail-in Ballot Application Deadline: Applications for a mail ballot must be received by your county auditor’s office by no later than 5:0opm on the 15th day before Election Day.

  • Completed Mail-in Ballot Return Deadline: Once you have completed your mail-in ballot, you may return it by mail or in person at your county auditor’s office. Completed ballots must be received by your county auditor’s office by 8:00pm on Election Day. They cannot be returned to a polling place on election day.

Learn more about voting by mail at:

Track your absentee ballot at:

Early In-person: Early in-person voting begins no more than 20 days before an election at your county auditor’s office. Check with your county auditor’s office for information about locations and times.

Election Day: Election Day sites will be open from 7:00 am until 8:00 p.m. If you are in line by the closing time then you have the right to vote. Eligible voters who have not registered to vote by election day may still register to vote and cast their ballot at their polling location on election day. Please see the above information on same-day registration for more information.

Individuals who register and vote same day 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.

Voters with disabilities may vote curbside. For more information, visit:

Common Questions/Concerns

Does Registering to Vote Affect my 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.

Does Registering to Vote Affect my Status as a Dependent on My 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.

Does Registering to Vote impact my Tuition Status?

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 January 2024

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