How to Register to Vote in Iowa


In Iowa, you can register to vote if you’re a U.S. citizen and at least 17.5 years old. Register online if you have an Iowa driver’s license, and if you don’t, register by mail. You can also register in person at your polling station on Election Day. The process is straightforward and simple. Every vote counts!

Part 1
Meeting the Qualifications

Meeting the Qualifications on How to Register to Vote in Iowa

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You’re automatically a U.S. citizen if one or both of your parents is a citizen, or if you were born in the United States. You can become a U.S. citizen by applying for a green card and naturalization, marrying a citizen, or serving in the U.S. military.[1]Obtaining U.S. citizenship is a very long process. In the meantime, find other ways to contribute around election season, like volunteering for a campaign or at the polls.

Meeting the Qualifications on How to Register to Vote in Iowa

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5 years old to register to vote. You need to be 18 years old to actually vote in the elections. However, you can register to vote if you are at least 17.5 years old, if you will be 18 by the time the election comes around.[2]Don't worry if you don't have your driver's license yet! You can use other forms of ID to register to vote.

Meeting the Qualifications on How to Register to Vote in Iowa

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If you have just moved to Iowa from another state or country, or if you’ve just moved to a new county, you should pre-register to vote in your new county. You can pre-register online or by mail until 10 days before the general elections and 11 days before other elections.[3]If you miss the pre-registration deadline, you can register at your polling place on the day of the election.[4]

Meeting the Qualifications on How to Register to Vote in Iowa

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” If a court has deemed you “incompetent to vote” then you are not allowed to vote in Iowa. This can happen if you have a very severe mental disability and are under the legal guardianship of somebody else.[5]This law is meant to discourage voter fraud, where people might coerce people with mental disabilities to cast a vote that they don't understand.

Meeting the Qualifications on How to Register to Vote in Iowa

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If you’re currently serving time, you’re not allowed to vote in Iowa. If you’ve finished your sentence for a misdemeanor, you can vote. If you’ve finished your sentence for a felony, you’ll have to apply to the governor to restore your right to vote.[6] If you completed your felony sentence before July 4, 2005, you will have your right to vote automatically restored to you. If you finished serving your felony sentence after July 4, 2005, you have to first pay monetary obligations and then apply to the governor to have your voting rights restored.[7]

Meeting the Qualifications on How to Register to Vote in Iowa

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If you qualify to vote in any other state in the U.S., that means you’re disqualified from voting in Iowa. So if you’ve just moved to or from Iowa, make sure you know which state you’re going to vote in.[8]If you’re a U.S. citizen who lives in another country, you can still vote in Iowa. Fill out an absentee ballot request, and you will be able to mail in your ballot.[9]

Part 2
Registering Online or by Mail

Registering Online or by Mail on How to Register to Vote in Iowa

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Online registration is the quickest way to register, and you can do it any time up until the election. The form will guide you through the necessary steps. You’ll have to enter your name, birth date, driver’s license number or state ID number, email address, political party affiliation, and a few other details. If you don’t have a political party affiliation, you can put down “Independent.”[10] You can find the online form to register to vote in Iowa here: . If you’re overseas, register to vote with an absentee ballot. Find more information and register here:

Registering Online or by Mail on How to Register to Vote in Iowa

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Find the form online, print it out, and fill in all the details it requests, including your name, birth date, email address, driver’s license number or state ID number, and political party affiliation. Then fold the form, put it in an envelope with a stamp, and take it to the post office to mail to your county auditor.[11] You can find the registration form here: . You can find your county auditor in this list:

Registering Online or by Mail on How to Register to Vote in Iowa

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If you’ve moved to a different county or changed your name or political party affiliation, you should submit a new voter registration either online or by mail. If you changed your address, but have stayed within the same county, you can report a change of address on Election Day at the polling place as long as you bring proof of residence of your new address to the polling place. Proof of residence includes:[12] Residential lease Utility bill or cell phone bill Bank statement Paycheck or government check Another government document Property tax statement (current within 45 days)

Part 3
Registering on Election Day

Registering on Election Day on How to Register to Vote in Iowa

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Go to your polling place and tell one of the volunteers that you would like to register to vote. They will give you the right form to fill out with your name, political party affiliation, and other details. As soon as you’ve registered, you can vote.[13] If you’re not sure where your polling place is, you can check here: . To register on the day of the election, you have to bring proof of your identity and your address to the polling place.

Registering on Election Day on How to Register to Vote in Iowa

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The easiest way to do this is to bring your Iowa driver’s license, which has a photo of you and has your address printed on it. If you don’t have an Iowa driver’s license, proof of address could include a residential lease, a utility bill or cell phone bill, a bank statement, a paycheck, or a government check. Proof of ID must include a current, valid photo of you and an expiration date. Examples include:[14] Iowa non-driver ID card Out-of-state driver’s license or non-driver ID U.S. passport U.S. military ID ID card from employer Student ID from Iowa high school or college Tribal ID

Registering on Election Day on How to Register to Vote in Iowa

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If you lack any of the documents to prove your identity and your address, you can have a registered voter from your precinct attest for you. Both you and the attester will have to sign an oath swearing that you are telling the truth.[15]Falsely attesting is a crime, punishable by up to 5 years in prison.