voting booth

We’re taking a momentary break from learning the ins and outs of estate planning, how to form a successful, compliant nonprofit, and how to practice tax-wise charitable giving for an important message brought to you by democracy…go vote! The 2018 Midterm Election will be held November 6, 2018. This year’s ballot includes races for Governor, Attorney General, Secretary of State, State Treasurer, State Auditor, Secretary of Agriculture, the four Congressional seats in the U.S. House of Representatives, all 100 seats of the Iowa House of Representatives, and 25 of the 50 seats in the Iowa Senate.

Regardless of where you fall on the political party affiliation spectrum, it’s so important to practice your right to vote. Midterm elections tend to have a lower turnout (around 40% of the population) compared with presidential election years (around 50-60% of the population), and we need to increase those percentages if we want accurate representation in government. To make voting in Iowa as easy as possible, I’ve compiled a list of useful information. Share it with your friends, family, and colleagues and encourage them to cast their ballot!

Voter Ready

What’s the deadline to register to vote?

Register to vote by October 27! If you miss the registration deadline, you can register in person at your polling place on Election Day.

I’m unsure if I’m registered to vote in Iowa. How do I check?

Search your status here.

Speaking of polling place, where do I vote?

Find your polling place by entering your zip code here. (The polling place data on the Iowa Secretary of State page is for regularly scheduled Primary, General, School and City Elections. The data is provided by county auditors through the statewide voter registration database.)

Can I vote early or absentee?

register early to vote

Definitely! There are three ways to vote by absentee ballot if you are registered to vote in Iowa.

  1. Absentee ballot by mail
  2. Absentee ballot in person at county auditor’s office
  3. Absentee ballot at a satellite voting location

Iowans living overseas can register to vote and request an absentee ballot in one step.

I just moved to Iowa. Can I vote?

If you have moved to Iowa from another state or moved to a different county in Iowa, pre-register to vote in your new county 10 days before general elections. (It’s 11 days before all other elections.) If you miss the pre-registration deadline, Election Day registration is available.

I’m a college student in Iowa from another state? Can I vote in Iowa?

As a college student, you may choose to register to vote at your home address or at your college address. You can’t register to vote at both. To pre-register to vote, complete a voter registration form and return it to your county auditor’s office.

What about voters with disabilities?

If you or a family member need special assistance to vote, you have the right to have an accessible voting location, assistance to vote and accessible voting equipment. Here’s a helpful brochure on what you need to know.

Can an Iowan still vote if they have a guardian or conservator?

Yes, persons with a guardian or conservator can still vote, unless a judge has specifically said in a court ruling that they may not vote.

Do I need an ID to vote?

You will be asked to show one of the following at your polling place:

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

If you don’t have any of those, that’s OK. You may sign an oath verifying your identity and then cast a regular ballot.

What if I need help getting to my polling place?

Rideshare services Uber and Lyft are both offering free rides to polling places on November 6!

Questions? Feel free to contact me! Any information you think other readers should know? Share them in the comments below!