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 will provide information on voter requirements for Iowa, elections calendars, finding your polling place links, requesting an absentee ballot, voting by military personnel, business services and state filings, nonprofit organization IRS forms, e-verify, etc.
By the Civil War most free adult 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:
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
Held on odd-numbered years on the second Tuesday in September. Nominating petitions are filed with the school secretary not more than 64 days or less than 40 days before an election.
Held on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November of each even-numbered year.
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. Nominating petitions for cities with primary elections are filed not more than 85 days nor less than 67 days before an election. Nominating petitions for other cities are filed with the city clerk not more than 71 days or less than 47 days before an 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.
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 day before an election. Please note that in order to vote at the auditor’s office the day before an election a voter must already be registered to vote!
Click Image to go to ACLU of Iowa webpage
Access a document that answers questions, such as . . .
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what if I lose my ID or forget to take it to the polls?
What are provisional ballots and how do they work?
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.