Your vote is powerful. Voting isn’t just a civic duty, or some tedious ritual engaged in every-so-often. Through voting, we determine our futures and empower our communities.
From reproductive rights to racial justice to the climate crisis, everything is at stake this election. The outcome will determine whether the communities Planned Parenthood serves have access to expert, affordable sexual and reproductive health care. The best way to protect this access is to get people to the polls and get out the vote!
Please share this information with your friends, family, and neighbors. We can empower and strengthen our communities by registering people to vote and supporting them to make their voices heard through the ballot box.
What follows is a handy guide to give you the information you need to register to vote, complete an application to vote by mail, and submit your ballot.
IMPORTANT VOTING DEADLINES
Here are key dates to keep in mind as Election Day nears:
- October 5: Early voting begins.
- October 24: Deadline to register to vote and to request a mail-in ballot.
- November 2: The last day to vote early in person.
- November 3: Election day! Mail-in ballots must be received by the county auditor’s office by the close of polls. Find your county auditor’s office
HOW TO REGISTER TO VOTE
Register to vote online now—it only takes 2 minutes! You can also look up your voter registration record and verify that your information is correct using Iowa's voter registration lookup tool.
In order to register to vote in Iowa, you must:
- be a citizen of the United States
- be a resident of Iowa
- be at least 17 (you must be 18 to vote)
- not have been convicted of a felony (or have had your rights restored)
- not currently be judged by a court to be "incompetent to vote"
- not claim the right to vote in more than one place
HOW TO VOTE BY MAIL IN IOWA
Voting by mail is the safest way to make your voice heard this election. Here’s how to do it:
- Request your mail-in ballot (also known as an absentee ballot) here.
- Fill out the application completely.
- Return the application to your local election office. You should request your ballot as far in advance of the election as possible. The deadline to request a ballot by mail is October 24 at 5 p.m.
- When your ballot arrives, read it carefully and follow the instructions to complete and return it to your county auditor.
HOW TO VOTE IN PERSON
You can vote in person early or on Election Day. Find your in-person polling location here. You can vote early in person until Monday, November 2, 2020, but dates and hours may vary based on where you live. Iowa’s county auditors will offer in-person early voting at county courthouses or election offices. Contact your county auditor to find out where you can vote early in person.
What to bring:
- If you are preregistered, bring an approved form of ID before casting your regular ballot. Approved forms of ID for pre-registered voters include: an Iowa driver's license or non-operator ID, U.S. passport, tribal ID card/document, U.S. military or veteran ID, or an Iowa voter ID card.
- If you are registering to vote after the pre-registration deadline or at the polls on Election Day, you must provide a current and valid photo ID. Approved forms of identification for Election Day registrants include: an Iowa driver's license or non-operator ID, U.S. passport, tribal ID card/document, U.S. military or veteran ID, an out-of-state driver's license or non-operator ID, employer-issued ID, or student ID issued by an Iowa high school or college. You may also need to bring proof of residence, see below.
- If your address has changed or you need to register after the pre-registration deadline or at the polls on Election Day, you will also be required to provide proof of residence. If your current address is on your current and valid ID, then it may also serve as proof of residence. Proof of residence documents must include the voter's name and address and be current within 45 days of presentation. These documents, except an ID, may be in electronic format, such as on a cell phone or tablet. Additional approved proof of residence documents include: a residential lease, utility bill (including a cell phone bill), bank statement, paycheck, government check or other government document, or a property tax statement (current within 45 days of final payment date).
- If you don’t have an approved form of identification or are unable to prove residence, you may 1) have their identity/residence attested to by another registered voter in the precinct, or 2) cast a provisional ballot and can provide ID up until 12:00 p.m. noon on Monday after Election Day.
HOW TO LEARN MORE
If you still have questions about elections in Iowa, please contact the Secretary of State.
Secretary of State
First Floor, Lucas Building, 321 E. 12th St.
Des Moines, IA 50319
Remember, your vote counts. By voting, we decide our futures and empower our communities.