Can I vote in Iowa?

  • Before you actually vote, you must register to vote.
  • You can register and vote in Iowa if you meet all of the following qualifications:
  • You are a U.S. citizen;
  • You are an Iowa resident;
  • You are at least age 17 when you register and are age 18 by Election Day;
  • You’ve given up your right to vote in any other place;
  • You haven’t been convicted of a felony (or you were convicted of a felony, but your right to vote was restored); and
  • You haven’t been declared by a court to be mentally incompetent to vote (unless the court certifies you are no longer incompetent).

What if I’m a student?

  • Register to vote at your permanent home address or your school address, but not both. You must meet the same requirements to vote as any other potential voter. If you have questions, contact your county auditor.

What if I am serving in the armed forces overseas?

  • Special laws are in place to make voting easier for you. You may receive and return your ballot by mail, email, or fax. Click here to learn more and request a ballot.

What if I’m homeless?

  • You can still register to vote and then vote. Simply describe your place of residence on the voter registration form (for example, a park, a shelter, a friend’s or family member’s house, or any other place where you usually stay or sleep).

What if I’ve been convicted of a crime?

  • If you were convicted of a misdemeanor (simple, serious, or aggravated), you can vote. However, you may need to vote by absentee ballot if you’re still in jail.
  • If you were convicted of a felony, you can vote only if you’ve completed your sentence (including any incarceration, on probation, parole, and/or supervised release) and have had your rights restored. Click here for a chart, complete with forms, that will help you determine if you may vote.
  • If you have been convicted of a felony and are unsure if you can vote OR want your right to vote restored, the ACLU has a complete guide. View the guide by clicking here. You can also call 515-243-3988; or email

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

Current as of November 2018 


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