How to Vote in Iowa’s 2024 Elections

Posted on 03/06/24 by Grace Dickinson

En español

Important dates and election information

Key dates

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  • State primary: Tuesday, June 4
  • General election: Tuesday, Nov. 5

Voting at a glance

  • Absentee voting: Any registered voter may request an absentee ballot through their county auditor.
  • Voting at the polls: Polls are open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Find your polling place using the secretary of state’s online tool.

Voting in Iowa

The deadline to preregister for the state primary is Monday, May 20. You can preregister:

When preregistering online, you’ll need either your driver’s license or nonoperator ID and the last five digits of your Social Security number. When preregistering by mail or in person, you’ll need either your driver’s license, nonoperator ID or the last four digits of your Social Security number.

Registering to vote on Election Day

You can register on Election Day at your county polling place. You must present a valid form of photo ID, such as an Iowa driver’s license or a U.S. passport, and proof of residence if your photo ID doesn’t contain your current address. Find a full list of acceptable forms of ID and proof of residence on the secretary of state’s website.

Across The U.S. Voters Flock To The Polls On Election Day
A 'Vote Here' sign points voters toward a polling place in Ray Lounsberry's Shed in Nevada, Iowa.
Mario Tama/Getty Images

If you don’t have sufficient documentation, another registered voter who lives in the same precinct may attest to your identity and residence. You’ll both be required to sign an oath swearing the statements are true.

Primary voting and party affiliation

You must be registered as Republican, Democrat or Libertarian, and you must vote on that party’s ballot. If you prefer to vote for a different party’s ballot, you can change your party affiliation at the polls on Election Day.

Ways to vote

Requesting an absentee ballot

Any registered voter can request an absentee ballot from their county auditor. Make a request:

  • Online: To receive a ballot by mail, download an absentee ballot request form, complete it and return it to your county auditor’s office by 5 p.m. on Monday, May 20. You must provide an Iowa driver’s license or state ID number, or a four-digit voter pin from your Iowa Voter ID Card. Any voter may request an Iowa Voter ID Card by contacting their county auditor's office.
  • In person: Visit your county auditor’s office to request an absentee ballot as soon as they’re ready. Absentee ballots will be available no earlier than Wednesday, May 15 for in-person voting. You may also visit a satellite absentee voting station to request an absentee ballot. Contact your county auditor’s office to find satellite station hours and locations. You cannot take home an absentee ballot you request in person. The last day to vote absentee in person is Monday, June 3.

Returning your by-mail absentee ballot

Use the provided envelope to mail or drop off your absentee ballot to your county auditor’s office. Postage is included. Your ballot must be received by 8 p.m. on Election Day.

Voting at the polls on Election Day

Polls are open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Find your polling place using the secretary of state’s online tool.

Voter ID requirements on Election Day

Before voting, you must show an Iowa driver’s license or nonoperator ID, U.S. passport, tribal ID or documentation, U.S. military ID, veteran’s ID or Iowa Voter ID Card.

If you can’t provide a valid ID, another registered voter who lives in the same precinct may attest to your identity and residence. If you don’t have ID or a person to vouch for your identity, you’ll be offered a provisional ballot. For a provisional ballot to be counted, you must provide ID to your county auditor’s office by the Monday following Election Day (June 4).

Voting with a disability

Each polling place is equipped with an accessible voting system for individuals with disabilities. If you need help marking your ballot, you may choose any person to help you, excluding your employer, employer’s agent or an agent of your union. You may also request help from two election officials (one from each political party). You’ll be asked to sign a form showing you asked for help. If you’re not physically able to sign the form, you can use a rubber stamp or have someone sign the form on your behalf, as long as it’s in your presence and with your permission.

Curbside voting is available to voters with disabilities who are unable to enter the polling place. If requesting curbside voting, you’re encouraged to call your county auditor's office in advance.

Find more information at the secretary of state’s website.

More information about candidates and races

Key races:

  • U.S. President
  • U.S. House: four seats 
  • State Senate: 25 seats
  • State House: 100 seats

Find sample ballots on your county auditor’s website or at your county auditor’s office.

Editor’s note: This guide was originally published on Jan. 6, 2024, and has been updated with new information about voting.

Grace Dickinson is a contributing writer who covers federal and state policy. She previously wrote for The Philadelphia Inquirer. Her work has also appeared on sites including HuffPost and Eater.

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