A Guide for Voting in Iowa

Maxwell Bernstein | October 16, 2020

The 2020 election will occur on Nov. 3 and is only 18 days away. Here is what voters need to know if they want to cast their ballot in Iowa. 

Registering to vote through the online portal must occur by Oct. 24, mail-in registrations must be postmarked by Oct. 19 and received by Oct. 24, and in-person registration must occur by Oct. 24 at 5:00 pm. This link can help people find where their polling place is located. Double check and make sure you are registered to vote in Iowa.

If people want to vote by mail, they must provide name, date of birth, Iowa residential address, Voter Verification Number (ID Number), or four-digit Voter Pin on the Iowa Voter ID Card on the absentee ballot request form. Click this hyperlink to the absentee ballot request form to get a printable version of the request form with instructions, and click this hyperlink to find your country auditor to send your ballot request form to. 

In order to vote early, voters can vote through a process called absentee in-person voting until Nov. 2. Voters must bring a proper ID such as an Iowa driver’s license, out-of-state driver’s license or non-operator ID, employer-issued ID, or student ID issued by an Iowa high school or college. 

Bring proof of residence if you need to register after the pre-registration deadline or at the polls on election day. Pre-registration is for people who have moved to Iowa from out of the state or to another county within Iowa. Proof of residency includes a document that has a voter’s name and address that is current and within 45 days of registering to vote. 

Voters who are unable to provide an ID may have their identity/residence attested by another registered voter. 


Make sure to wear a mask and social distance if you decide to vote in person before, or on Nov. 3 to prevent contracting and spreading COVID-19. 

Click this link to track your absentee ballot

Inform yourself on which candidates will be on your local ballot at Ballotpedia.org. Inform yourself on current issues and the stance that each candidate takes on them to participate in our democracy in a way that is productive and healthy for our communities. 

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