En español | Iowa's June 7 primaries will determine which candidates appear on November’s general election ballots for governor, U.S. House and Senate and several other state offices. A new state law makes changes to voting, including a shorter early voting period, shorter voting hours on Election Day and more limits to who can pick up and drop off another person’s ballot. Some of the changes are currently being challenged in the courts.
Iowans can also register to vote on Election Day at your county polling place. At the polling place, you must present an acceptable form of ID and proof of residence. If you don’t have sufficient documentation, another registered voter who lives in the same precinct may attest to your identity and residence.
You can check if you are registered to vote through the state's voter portal or your county auditor’s office.
It does in a partisan primary election. The June primaries are for the Republican and Democratic parties to choose their nominees for the November general election. Only registered members of a specific party may vote in that party’s primary. Independent voters cannot participate. However, Iowans can change their party registration at any time, including at the polls on Election Day.
In order to vote absentee in June’s primaries or November’s general election, registered voters must request an absentee ballot through their county auditor. You can get a request form:
You can submit your request for a mail-in absentee ballot no earlier than 70 days before an election, so March 29 for the primaries and Aug. 30 for the general election. Return your request form to your county auditor’s office no later than 5 p.m. 15 days before the election, so May 23 for the primaries and Oct. 24 for the general election. If you miss the deadlines, you can complete an absentee ballot in person at your county auditor’s office up until Election Day.
Once your absentee ballot request form is received, the county auditor will mail you your absentee ballot with instructions on how to mark and return it. You can return your completed absentee ballot to your county auditor’s office:
If you got an absentee ballot but instead want to vote at the polls on Election Day, you must “surrender,” or give back, your absentee ballot at the polls. If you are unable to surrender it, you can cast a provisional ballot at the polls instead.
A provisional ballot is for voters who:
For example, if your name doesn’t appear on the list of registered voters at the polls, or if you don’t have the correct ID, you can cast a provisional ballot.
But you must “cure” your provisional ballot in order for it to be counted. This means providing evidence of your voting eligibility by the time of the county canvass of votes, which is 12 p.m. on the Monday after Election Day. For the primaries, that’s Monday June 13. For the general election, that’s Monday, Nov. 14. Before you leave the polls on Election Day, you should be given a written notice explaining these requirements.
Yes, via an absentee ballot. You can request and submit an absentee ballot in person at your county auditor’s office starting 20 days before Election Day. In 2022, in-person absentee voting is open from May 18 to June 6 for the primaries, and Oct. 19 to Nov. 7 for the general election.
Note that for in-person absentee voting, you are required to fill out an absentee ballot request form and provide ID, just like you would on Election Day.
For absentee voting, disabled voters can ask any registered Iowa voter to help them deliver their ballot. Those who turn in another’s ballot must fill out a form to verify their identity and present that form when they turn in the ballot.
For voting on Election Day, Iowa law requires all polling places to be accessible to all voters. Each polling place has a special voting device with elements, such as a touch screen or audio component, that helps disabled voters complete their ballots. You can also have someone assist you, as long as they are not your employer, your employer’s agent or an officer/agent of your union. Precinct election officials (PEOs) will also be on site to assist. You will be asked to sign a form showing you asked for help. If you are not physically able to sign the forms, you can use a rubber stamp or mark to sign.
If you are unable to enter the building of your polling place because of a disability, you can also vote curbside. Precinct election officials will bring voting materials to you in your car. Note that when a voter requests assistance from precinct election officials, two — one from each political party — always assist if the election is the primary, general or any other partisan special election.
The primary election is Tuesday, June 7. The general election is Tuesday, Nov. 8. Polls are open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Visit the state’s online Find You Precinct/Polling Place portal to find where you need to cast your vote.
Yes. Iowa voters are required to show an Iowa driver’s license or nonoperator ID, U.S. passport or another acceptable ID at the polls before they vote.
A voter without ID may have the voter’s identity attested to by another registered voter in the precinct. Both you and the attester will be required to sign an oath swearing the statements being made are true.
Voters without ID or an attester can submit a provisional ballot.
Editor’s note: This guide was updated on Nov. 2 with information about how to vote in 2022. The guide was first published on July 22, 2020. Voting rules and procedures may change before Election Day, as will specifics about candidates. We’ll keep this guide updated, so bookmark this page and check back.
This story is provided by AARP Iowa. Visit the AARP Iowa page for more news, events, and programs affecting retirement, health care, and more.
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