Early Voting in Iowa

How to Vote in Iowa

2018 Primary Edition

Thanks to Paul Pate, Kim Reynolds, and Republican legislators, voting in Iowa’s primary will be harder this year than ever before. Here’s what you need to know about absentee voting, voting by mail, and Iowa’s voter ID laws this year:

  • Vote by mail

The deadline to request an absentee ballot is Friday, May 25th, and the deadline to return your ballot is Monday, June 4th. You can find the Absentee Ballot Request Form here.

Note: You will need an Iowa driver’s license, a non-operator ID, or a voter ID card in order to request an absentee ballot.

  • Vote early in person

Want to vote early, but don’t want to wait for your ballot to arrive? You can vote early in-person at your county auditor’s office on most weekdays up until the day of the election.

More information on how to vote early in person here.

Note: Again, you will need an Iowa driver’s license, a non-operator ID, or a voter ID card in order to vote early in person.

  • Vote on election day

Primary election day this year is Tuesday, June 5th. In order to vote on Election Day, you must go to the polling location in your precinct. You can find your polling location here.

Polls are open from 7am-9pm on Election Day.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need an ID in order to vote?

You will need an Iowa driver’s license, a non-operator ID, or a voter ID card in order to vote early, either by mail or in-person.

If you are voting on Election Day, you will be asked to show one of the following forms of ID:

  • Iowa Driver’s License
  • Iowa Non-Operator’s ID
  • U.S. Passport
  • Military ID
  • Veteran’s ID
  • Voter ID Card


What is a Voter ID card?

The Secretary of State mailed a voter ID card to all registered voters who do not have a driver’s license or non-operator ID.

Here is an example of what these cards look like.

As you can see, these cards are extremely easy to lose.

What if I’m registered to vote, but I don’t have one of those forms of ID?

You cannot vote early, but you can vote on Election Day as long as you sign an oath verifying your identity.

What if I’m not registered to vote, or not registered at my current address?

You can still register to vote on Election Day. You should bring a photo ID and proof of address. You can find a list of acceptable ID’s and proofs of address here.

What else should I know?

Even if you’re registered to vote, and provide the correct ID, poll workers can challenge you to prove that you are who you say you are. They will ask you to sign your name and compare that signature to your ID.

Why did Republicans pass this law?

Voter ID laws throw up unnecessary roadblocks to voting, all in the name of preventing “voter fraud.” We know that voter fraud is a non-existent problem, and that voter ID laws are politically motivated to keep people away from the polls. Students and young people, low-income, elderly, disabled, people of color and trans people are affected most by voter ID laws.