Iowa Election Law FAQ
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: When do the polls close for the General Election?
A: The polls close at 8:00 pm for ALL elections.
Q: How many days before an election do I need to register to vote if I’m not registered or if I moved, and I want my name to be on the voter register at the polls?
A: 15 days. This is Monday, October 23 for the November 7, 2023 City/School Election.
Q: May I still register to vote at the polls?
A: Yes. You will need both proof of identity (which everyone needs) AND proof of residence.
Q: Will the county auditor send absentee ballot request forms to all voters in the county?
A. No. State law now prohibits this. If you personally request an absentee ballot request form, your auditor will send you one. Please visit our Absentee Voting page on this website.
Q: When is the first day that I may request an absentee ballot by mail?
A: 70 days before the election. This is Tuesday, August 29 for the November 7, 2023 City/School Election.
Q: After I send in my absentee ballot request form, when will the county auditor mail me my ballot?
A: The auditor will start mailing absentee ballots 20 days before the election.
For the Nov. 7, 2023 City/School Election, this is Wednesday, Oct. 18.
Q: When is the first day I can vote absentee in person at the Auditor’s Office?
A: 20 days before the election. You should only vote at the office if you have not requested a ballot by mail. This is Wednesday, October 18 for the November 7, 2023 City/School Election.
Q: When is the last day that I can request an absentee ballot by mail?
A: The county auditor must receive your request form by 5:00 pm at least 15 days before the election. This is Monday, October 23 for the November 7, 2023 City/School Election.
Q: What is the deadline for getting my voted absentee ballot back to the county auditor?
A: The county auditor must have your ballot by the close of the polls, which is 8:00 pm on election day.
Q: Won’t my ballot be counted as long as it is postmarked before election day?
A: NO. The law changed, and your ballot must be in the possession of the county auditor by 8:00 pm on election day.
Q: When is the last day to vote an absentee ballot in person at the auditor’s office?
A: The day before the election. Office hours are 8:00 am to 4:30 pm (This didn’t change.) This is Monday, November 6 for the November 7, 2023 City/School Election.
Q: May I return someone else’s absentee ballot, or may someone else return my absentee ballot?
A: The only people who may return a voter’s absentee ballot (we’re talking about the BALLOT, NOT the ballot REQUEST FORM) are the voter, someone living in the voter’s household, an immediate family member, or, if the voter is blind or has another disability, a special delivery agent. Please refer to the Absentee Voting Instructions that are included with the mailed ballot.