I need help filling out my ballot; can someone assist me?
Yes, you may request help for marking or casting a ballot. Any voter may declare they are blind, cannot read English , or are, by reason of disability, unable to cast a vote without help.
Voters may choose any person to assist them, except their employer, employer’s agent or an office/agent of their union. Voters may also request help from a precinct election official. Two precinct officials, one from each political party, may assist. If a person other than the precinct official assists the voter, the person assisting the voter must sign the Affidavit of Voter Requesting Assistance.
Each polling place has an accessible ballot machine. This machine is for any voter. To mark the ballot, voters use a touch screen, audio, and/or a sip and puff tool to select their voting option. The device will mark their ballot with their selections.
I can’t leave my home; can I still vote?
Yes, you may request an absentee ballot by mail. Please see “How can I vote absentee by-mail?” in How to Vote for further information.
I am unable to leave my vehicle; can someone bring a ballot to my vehicle?
Yes, you may request curbside voting on election day. Please see “How can I vote curbside on election day?” in How to Vote for further information.
I have a guardian or conservator; can I still vote?
Yes, in the state of Iowa you can still vote under guardianship or conservatorship. This is unless a judge has said in a court ruling that you may not vote.
What is a caucus?
A caucus is a meeting where people of the Democratic and Republican parties choose their preferred person running for office or select them to attend a convention. It is free. You don’t need to sign up. You must be registered with the party for which you want to caucus.
How long does a caucus last?
The caucus starts at 7pm sharp. Arrive early, because once it begins, you will not be allowed inside. Precinct caucus may last anywhere from one hour to several hours, depending on the size. You are not allowed to leave until the caucus is complete.
Can I request accommodations? How?
Contact your caucus location in advance of election day to request the accommodation you need to be able to participate in the caucus.
How can I contact Disability Rights Iowa about a voting issue I’m having related to my disability?
Disability Rights Iowa’s voting rights advocate, Lacee Be, can be reached by phone at 515-452-0799 or by email at LLBe@driowa.org
How can I contact the Iowa Secretary of State’s Office?
The Iowa Secretary of State’s Office can be reached by calling 888-767-8683 or by emailing email@example.com. Their voting website with information for those with disabilities can be found here.
How can I contact my County Auditor’s office?
The Iowa Secretary of State provides this website to find the contact information for your current County Auditor.
What are my general rights on Election Day?
If the polls close while you’re still in line, stay in line; you have the right to vote. If you make a mistake on your ballot, you may ask for a new one. If the machines are down at your polling place, you may ask for help with a paper ballot. If you run into any problems or have questions on Election Day,
- call the Election Protection Hotline: 866-687-8683 for English;
- 888-839-8682 for Spanish;
- 844-925-5287 for Arabic;
- 888-274-8683 for
- Tagalog, or
The poll worker says my name is not on the list of registered voters; what do I do now?
You can have a provisional ballot, even if you aren’t listed as a registered voter in the poll book. After Election Day, election officials must look into whether you can vote and are registered. If you can vote and are registered, they will count your provisional ballot.
I don’t speak English very well, can I still vote?
Under law, voters who cannot read or write English well may receive help at the polls from the person of their choice. This person cannot be the voter’s employer, an agent of the voter’s employer, or an agent or officer of the voter’s union.
Someone is interfering with my right to vote; what can I do?
It’s illegal to intimidate voters and a federal crime to “intimidate, threaten, [or] coerce … any other person for the purpose of interfering with the right of [that] other person to vote or to vote as he may choose.” Report intimidation to the Election Protection Hotline or to your local election officials.
On Election Day, if I think my rights have been violated, what should I do?
If you think your rights have been violated on Election Day, report that to the Election Protection Hotline or to your local election officials.
Election Results and Security
Are vote counting machines connected to the internet, making them vulnerable to hacking and manipulation?
Iowans vote on paper ballots in all elections and those ballots are preserved to ensure accurate results. Vote counting machines are not connected to the internet or to each other. Each is stored securely when not in use.
Do IP addresses going to county websites or systems have evidence of hacking?
IP addresses show when a person visited a website. There is zero evidence of any unauthorized visits into Iowa’s election systems. A county’s website has no connection to any election equipment.
Are hand-counted results more secure?
Hand counting almost 2 million ballots for the results of one election would take several weeks. This would make votes more prone to human error and potential fraud than with vote counting machines. Vote counting machines are certified, tested, and audited before and after the election to ensure accuracy.
Is absentee voting by mail prone to fraud?
Iowa has instituted Voter ID at the polls and on absentee ballot request forms to protect the integrity of the vote. Voters are required to enter their Voter ID number on their request form before submitting it to their county auditor. The Voter ID number and the voter’s address must match the voter’s information in the voter registration database. Then a ballot can be mailed.
Are more people voting than there are people registered to vote?
A record high 1.7 million Iowans voted in the November 2020 election. That is 77 percent of Iowa’s 2.2 million registered voters.
How to Vote
How can I vote absentee in-person?
Beginning 20 days before the election, you may vote in-person at your county auditor’s office. Some counties allow you to use other voting locations. Contact your county auditor to find out if another voting location is open.
How can I vote absentee by-mail?
You have to request an absentee-ballot-request form by using this website. Do this no later than 15 days before the election. Then you will receive an absentee ballot in the mail. Then you will need to return your ballot, either by mail, in-person at your County Auditor’s office, on election day at your polling place, or by having a designated person return it.
How can I vote curbside on election day?
You may be unable to enter the polling place because of a disability. If so, two precinct election officials, one from each party, will take a ballot and election supplies outside to you. You may then mark the ballot in your vehicle. You must sign the Affidavit of Voter Requesting Assistance. It is not required, but you can contact the county auditor’s office, to let them know that you will be voting curbside.
How can I vote on election day?
You will go to your polling place with your proof of ID to vote.
How can I vote using an accessible voting machine?
Each polling place will have an accessible voting machine. There are four different machines approved in Iowa. County Auditors choose which machine they want to use. To find out which machine your county uses, please click on this link: https://sos.iowa.gov/elections/pdf/covotesystem.pdf then look up your county and note the accessible system machine they use. Then you can view a video of that machine’s use on this link: https://sos.iowa.gov/disabilities.html
Am I required to vote for everything listed on the ballot?
No, you don’t have to answer everything if you are unsure of something.
How do I express interest in becoming a poll worker (also known as a precinct election official)?
You can visit this website to learn more and to fill out a form to get in touch with your county auditor about becoming a poll worker (also known as a precinct election official).
Would I be paid for training and my Election Day duties as a poll worker?
Yes, pay is available. Pay rate varies by county.
What would I do as a poll worker?
Before Election Day, you would attend a training about your role, duties, and the polling place location. On Election Day, you would check in voters and give them ballots. Designated poll workers give instructions for how to use the accessible ballot machines. You may also be sent outside with another poll worker to assist with curbside voting.
I need to register to vote; how can I do that?
Please see the voter registration section below for more information about registering as a voter in Iowa.
I need to find my polling place; how can I do that?
Go to this page provided by the Iowa Secretary of State. Search your zip code, and then search your address. This will provide your polling place address and name.
I’m not sure what to take to the polls; what should I take with me?
You will need to provide proof of ID.
I don’t drive; how do I get to my polling place?
You can use public transportation if possible, or you may choose to request an absentee, mail-in ballot so you don’t have to find transportation but are able to vote from where you live.
I can’t afford stamps; how do I send in my absentee ballot?
An absentee mail-in ballot comes with a postage-paid envelope, so you will not need a stamp.
How do I decide how to vote: mail-in absentee, in-person absentee, or in-person on Election Day?
If you lack transportation, you may wish to vote mail-in absentee. If you can’t stand in line, you may wish to have an accommodation of a chair provided. Or you may wish to vote mail-in absentee. If you’re immunocompromised, you may wish to vote mail-in absentee. If you’ll be in surgery the day of Election Day, you may wish to vote mail-in or in-person absentee to vote early. If you live in a facility and can’t make it to your polling place, you may wish to vote mail-in absentee.
What do I wear? Is there a dress code?
There is no dress code for voting. Wear what makes you feel comfortable.
How do I know who is on my ballot? How do I know what I’m voting for?
There are many resources to be found online to find who is on your ballot and what you are voting for. Two of these include Vote411 and Ballotpedia. These are not endorsed by DRI, but rather provided as possible resources.
How can I register to vote on Election Day?
You can register to vote on Election Day. You must prove both who you are and where you live. Make sure to bring current identification that contains a photo of you and an expiration date.
Proof of ID:
- Driver’s license
- US Passport
- US Military ID
- ID Card issued by employer
- Student ID issued by Iowa High School or College
- Tribal ID
Proof of Residence (if your driver’s license doesn’t list your current address):
- Residential Lease
- Utility Bill
- Bank Statement
- Government Check
- Other Government Document
Am I able to register to vote in the state of Iowa?
To qualify to register to vote in Iowa, you must be a US citizen, an Iowa resident, and at least 17 years old (will be 18 on or before Election Day). You cannot have a convicted felony unless your voting rights have been restored, be judged mentally incompetent by a court, or claim the right to vote in any other place.
Is it too late to register to vote?
You can register before and on Election Day in Iowa. Please see “How can I register to vote on Election Day?” for more info.
How do I know if I am registered to vote?
DRI provides a page to check your voter registration status here, which is powered by Vote.org
Can I register to vote online? In person?
You may register to vote online at this website. You may also print out this form and return it, completed, to your local County Auditor.
Do you have voting rights Questions?
Contact our Voting Rights Advocate to answer all of your questions today.
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