Our early voting toolkit for talking with the people in your life

Our state and our country are places where every person should count. No matter what you look like, how much money you have, or where you come from, it is the right of every American to vote in fair and free elections and to have their votes counted.

This resource provides tools for voting early and securely in Iowa, and encouraging your friends and family to vote. This toolkit includes:

  • What you need to know to vote early and securely in Iowa.
  • Talking points an use to call your family and friends about early voting
  • A simple form to organize your family and friends’ early voting commitments. 

By working together, we will ensure that every vote is counted and swear in a government elected by and for us. By joining together in record numbers, we will ensure a democracy where everyone counts, no exceptions – from Iowa to the White House.

If you have questions about how to vote early, you can find information on the Iowa Secretary of State’s website. For questions about this toolkit, contact us at 515-282-0484.

For democracy, 

The Democracy Defenders

PS: Don’t forget to share the Democracy Defenders Petition!

Voting Early & Securely

Details on Voting Early & Securely

Here’s what you need to do to cast your vote early and securely:

1. Get Your Ballot – ASAP!

Ballot applications are available from your county auditor and from the Iowa Secretary of State’s office at this link. Your signed and completed ballot request form must be returned to your county auditor by October 24 at 5 pm.

2. Cast Your Vote

You can cast your ballot early and securely in one of three ways:

  • Mail in your absentee ballot early. As soon as your ballot arrives, fill it out completely and return it as soon as possible in the postage paid envelope provided.
  • Drop off your absentee ballot as soon as possible at your county auditor’s office.
  • Vote early in person. You may also vote early in person at your county auditor’s office. Look up that location here.

3. Confirm Your Vote

You can make sure that your ballot was received by calling or emailing your county auditor or by tracking it on the Secretary of State’s website at this link. 

Don’t forget: Voting early helps people participate in our democracy.!

  • It lightens the load for poll workers on election day and shortens the lines for those voting in person. This is especially important given the pandemic.
  • It evens out the load on the postal service. Mailing in your ballot as soon as possible spreads out the work for postal employees.
  • It ensures that you and others won’t be kept from voting if the unexpected strikes on election day (COVID spike, natural disaster, accident, etc.).

Early voting will also stop campaigns from constantly calling you! Once your vote is cast, candidates can focus their attention on people who are less likely to vote or who are living with barriers that make it harder for them to vote. 

Talk with people you know about voting early. Share with them why you’ve decided to vote early this year and ask them to do the same. Then, follow up with them with a reminder to cast their vote early.

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Talking Points for Family and Friends

Share why you’re voting early. Voting early protects our ability to vote no matter what else is happening, and makes it easier on elections officials.

Voting early means candidates, who we want to win, can focus their time and resources to reach out to other voters instead.

Voting early means that even if the pandemic gets worse or if we get sick, our votes are already cast.

Voting early will shorten lines at the polls during in-person voting on November 3rd, which means people who can’t afford to wait in line for 2 hours to vote will have shorter wait times and are more likely to vote. We want that. Less wait time is also safer for everyone who is voting in person on Nov. 3rd.

Confirm that your friend or family member is early voting
Example: Are you planning on doing some kind of early voting this year?

Explain Absentee Ballot Requests
Ballot applications are available from your county auditor and from the Iowa Secretary of State’s office online. Sign and complete your ballot request form as soon as possible; your signed and completed form must be returned to your county auditor by October 24 at 5:00 pm.

Make sure your person has a plan to vote, including a day they’re planning to go and transportation to/from locations. Making a plan helps make it happen.

Explain Early Voting Options
You can choose one of three options for voting early.

Mail in your absentee ballot early. As soon as your ballot arrives, fill it out completely and return it as soon as possible in the postage paid envelope provided.

Drop off your absentee ballot as soon as possible at your county auditor’s office.

Vote early in person at your county auditor’s office. 

Spreadsheet for Tracking Family/Friend Turnout

We’ve created a simple form for you to track conversations with your family, friends, and neighbors about early voting. You can open it at the link below, and download it or save to your Google Drive or desktop. 
If neither of those work for you, grab a pen and paper! The important thing is that you track the folks you’ve already talked to, so you reach as many people as possible. 

Access the spreadsheet here.

Everything is on the line this year. The future of our economy, healthcare, schools, climate and clean water, and more will be decided by who we vote into office. 2020 has taught us that we can’t take anything for granted, especially our democracy.

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