Voting in Iowa:

"Our Liberties We Prize and Our Rights We Will Maintain." 

On February 8, 2017, the LWVIA Board approved the following: The League of Women Voters of Iowa believes voting is a right, not a privilege. We support free, fair and accessible elections, and believe that no person or group should face legal, economic or administrative discrimination. We oppose any form of voting restrictions, while continuing the dialogue to improve Iowa’s voting process.

The Iowa Secretary of State website provides information about Voter Identification, Voter Registration, How to Vote on Election Day, How to Vote Absentee, Voter Accessibility & Assistance, and Military & Overseas Voters.

Click on the image above to visit the League of Women Voters online voting guide.  It provides information about voting in Iowa, links to help you find your voting site, and lists top three priorities for many candidates running for national office from Iowa.

Voting Rights:


By the Civil War most free adult white males, property owners or not, had the right to vote. But it took amendments to the U.S. Constitution to give the vote to black males (1870), all women (1920), and 18-year-olds (1971). In more recent times two articles of federal legislation have been passed to guarantee that the electoral process is open to all citizens. In 1965, the Voting Rights Act was enacted to eliminate discrimination in voting for minorities, particularly in the south. And the National Voter Registration Act of 1993, also known as “motor voter”, has opened up the voter registration process to all, particularly by allowing citizens to apply to vote when they get their drivers’ licenses. The League of Women Voters was active in advocating for both laws to offer greater opportunity for participation by citizens in their government."Today, every American citizen age eighteen and older has the right to vote. Sometimes it’s a right we take for granted. We forget how much…has gone into making sure that all segments of the American population – minorities, women, youth, and others – are able to have their say."

Iowa election information:
Primary Elections 
Held on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in June of each even-numbered year for the members of political parties to nominate candidates for the general election ballot. Candidates for federal, statewide, and legislative offices file their nomination petitions with the Iowa Secretary of State. Nomination petitions for county and township offices are filed with the County Auditor in the appropriate county. For information on your County Auditor, click HERE
General Elections 
Held on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November of each even-numbered year.

City & School Elections
Held on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November of each odd-numbered year. Some cities hold primary elections four weeks before the regular election and some cities hold runoff elections four weeks after the regular city election.

Where and How to Vote
Once a person has registered to vote, they will be notified by mail giving them the name of the precinct in which they live. Prior to an election, information and notices are published in local newspapers naming the polling place for each election precinct, the date of the upcoming election, and the hours during which the polls will be open. County Auditors also can provide voters with this information.


ID Required by Iowa law

Beginning in 2018, an acceptable ID card must be presented when voting. These include an Iowa Driver's License, an Iowa Non-Operator's License, a Military ID, a Veteran's ID, a US Passport, or a State Issued Voter ID Card. During 2018, there is a phase-in of the requirement where the voter may sign an oath if there is no ID provided. Beginning in 2019, the law requires ID to be provided, though there are several options for those who do not have one of the acceptable forms of ID. These include having someone attest to who the voter is, provision by the voter of both an ID (not one of the six above) and proof of residency, or casting a provisional ballot which is only counted if county auditor is provided proof of identity by the Monday after the election.

Absentee Voting
Persons who will be away on election day, or who wish to vote early, may vote absentee. A registered voter may apply in writing to the County Auditor to receive an absentee ballot. The voter may then vote either by mail or in person (at the auditor’s office or at a satellite voting location) up to the applicable deadline before the election. Please note that in order to vote absentee before an election, a voter must already be registered to vote!


Click the Voter Registration Form to download it, print it, and send it to your County Auditor.  For information on your County Auditor, click HERE.


League of Women Voters believes that voting is a fundamental right and all eligible voters should have the equal opportunity to exercise that right. We are dedicated to ensuring that our elections remain free, fair and accessible. Read more at the LWVUS website.

Voting is the foundation of our democracy. The Brennan Center for Justice is at the center of the fight to preserve and expand the right to vote for every eligible citizen. Through practical policy proposals, litigation, advocacy, and communications, the Brennan Center works to ensure that voting is free, fair, and accessible for all Americans.