Note: Because of the COVID-19 crisis, timelines have been considerably expanded for the June 2, 2020 primary. Click here for details.

Can I vote before Election Day?

  • Yes. Any registered voter can vote during the 29-day period before Election Day by casting an “absentee ballot” by mail or in person at your county auditor’s office.

How do I get an absentee ballot?

1) Submit an application for an absentee ballot to be mailed to you. Get the application at your county auditor’s office, by calling the Secretary of State’s Office at 515-281-5204, or download one by clicking here.

2) The completed application must be received by your county auditor 10 days before Election Day in order to count.

3) You will then be mailed an absentee ballot to fill out and return by mail or hand delivery.

What's the deadline for returning my absentee ballot?

To be counted, your absentee ballot must be postmarked no later than the Monday before Election Day and received in the county auditor’s office no later than noon one week after Election Day. (You can call your county auditor to make sure it was received or check online here.) You may hand-deliver your voted absentee ballot to the county auditor’s office anytime before the polls close at 9:00 p.m. on Election Day.

What if I make a mistake on my absentee ballot?

  • Do not try to erase or scratch out your answers. Instead, request a replacement ballot.
    • Put the absentee ballot in the return envelope with a note clearly stating that you want a new ballot. 
    • Write “spoiled ballot” on the envelope
    • Return the envelope to your county auditor’s office.
  • If you are concerned about meeting a voting deadline, call your county auditor’s office.

If you have more questions, contact your county auditor's office or the Iowa Secretary of State website. 

Current as of April 2020