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Register to vote in Iowa

How to Register to Vote in Iowa

This article describes how to register to vote in Iowa. Iowa offers online voter registration. You can register to vote by mail in Iowa by printing a copy of the National Voter Registration Form, filling it out, and mailing it to your local election office. You can also register to vote in person if you prefer.

Register to vote in Iowa In-person

  • You can also register to vote in person. The deadline to register to vote in person is Saturday, October 27. Contact your local election officefor information on when and where to register to vote.
  • You can also register to vote and cast a ballot in person on Election Day.
  • Learn more by visiting the Secretary of State for Iowaor contacting your local election official.

Who can vote

  • To register in Iowa you must be a citizen of the United States be a resident of Iowa
  • And, be at least 17-1/2 years old (you must be 18 to vote)
  • Should not have been convicted of a felony (or have had your rights restored) and not currently be judged by a court to be “incompetent to vote”
  • Not claim the right to vote in more than one place
  • Give up your right to vote in any other place

Register to vote in Iowa Online

  • Iowa offers online voter registration.
  • You should know: you need an Iowa ID to use Iowa’s online voter registration system. If you don’t have an Iowa-issued ID, you can still register to vote by mail.
  • You can register online until Saturday, October 27.

Register to vote in Iowa By-mail voter registration

  1. Print and fill out the National Voter Registration Form.
  2. Box 6 – ID Number: Your ID number is your Iowa driver’s license number (or Iowa non-driver’s identification number) if you have one, if not then the last four digits of your Social Security number. The ID number you provide will be verified with the Iowa Department of Transportation or the Social Security Administration.
  3. Box 7 – Choice of Party: Iowa requires that you register with a party to participate in partisan primary elections. You should register with the party whose primary you would like to vote in. If you choose not to register with a party, Iowa allows you to declare a party affiliation at the polls on election day.
  4. Box 8 – Race or Ethnic Group: Leave blank.
  5. Review the “Who can vote?” section above and check that you’re eligible.
  6. Sign the form.
  7. Send the completed form to your local election official. To register by mail, the form must be received by Saturday, October 27.

Military and overseas voters Register to vote in Iowa

Active-duty military, their families, and voters living outside the US can register to vote and request their absentee ballot using the Federal Post Card Application (FPCA). To do so:

  1. Fill out the Federal Post Card Application (FPCA), or download a copy. Your election official may have questions, so please provide an email address or phone number where they can reach you.
  2. Send the application to your election official.
  3. It is never too early to submit an FPCA! Please do so as soon as possible. You can look up recommended mailing dates by country and region.
  4. When your ballot arrives, read it carefully and follow the instructions to complete it and return it.
  5. States begin mailing absentee ballots at least 45 days before Election Day. If you haven’t received your ballot by 30 days before Election Day, contact your local election office.

If after submitting your FPCA, your ballot does not arrive, contact your election official first. Then:

  • You can still vote using the Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot (FWAB). Print, sign, and mail your FWAB to your local election office.
  • If you mail a FWAB and then receive your regular absentee ballot, you should complete and mail your absentee ballot also. Election officials will ensure that only one ballot is counted.

The Federal Voting Assistance Program – offers additional information on military and overseas voting in Iowa.

Check your voter registration status

You can look up your voter registration record and verify that your information is correct using Iowa’s voter registration lookup tool.

Dates and deadlines

  • Election day is Tuesday, November 6.
  • The deadline to register online is Saturday, October 27.  By mail is Saturday, October 27.
  • The deadline to register to vote in person is Saturday, October 27.
  • You can also register and vote on Election Day.

Click here to view How to Register to Vote in Other States.

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