Here’s how to request an absentee ballot for the 2022 Iowa election

Iowans who want to vote by mail in this year’s election can request an absentee ballot beginning Tuesday, August 30. Election officials urge Iowans to make a plan to vote.

“It’s important to have a plan when it comes to voting,” Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate said in a news release. “You have multiple options available. If you plan to vote by mail, go ahead and submit your absentee ballot request form now. That will make it easier for you and your county auditor when it comes time to cast your ballot.” .

Republicans in the Iowa Legislature passed sweeping voting law changes last year that included shortening the time allowed to vote by mail, vote early in person and vote in person on Election Day. Here’s how Iowans can request an absentee ballot under the latest rules.

In order to vote by mail in Iowa, you must submit a written request to receive an absentee ballot by mail, which must be received by your county auditor no later than 5:00 pm 15 days before Election Day . This year, Election Day is Tuesday, November 8, so your county auditor must receive your application by 5 pm on Monday, October 24.

How to Vote by Mail in Iowa

If you need to register to vote

If you haven’t voted in Iowa or haven’t voted in a while and want to, the first thing you should do is check to see if you’re registered or register. You should also update your voter registration if you have changed your name, address, or party affiliation.

To register to vote in Iowa you must:

  • be a citizen of the United States
  • be a resident of Iowa
  • be at least 17 years old (you must be 18 years old on Election Day to vote)
  • not currently be judged by a court to be “incompetent to vote”
  • not claim the right to vote in more than one place

The Governor of Iowa restored voting rights to most Iowans with felony convictions who have served their sentence, including probation, parole, and special sentences. There are some exclusions. Find more details here.

The deadline for pre-registration of voters is Monday, October 24. Iowans who miss that deadline can register to vote at their polling place on Election Day.

If you are already registered to vote

  1. Print an absentee ballot request form or call your county auditor and ask them to send you a request form.
  2. Complete the ballot request form, sign and date it.
  3. Find the address of your county auditor.
  4. Mail your absentee ballot application to your county auditor.
  5. Wait for your ballot to arrive. Counties can begin mailing ballots on October 19.
  6. Fill out your ballot when you receive it and mail or return it to your county auditor right away. The new law says absentee ballots must be received by your county auditor by 8:00 pm on Election Day for them to be counted.

In 2020, the Iowa Secretary of State and several county auditors mailed absentee ballot request forms to all active registered voters. They are no longer allowed to do that under state law. Other groups can still send the forms to voters. If you choose to use a ballot request form submitted by a different group, make sure it requires the same information as the official state ballot request form and that the return envelope is addressed to your county auditor.

Tips for Completing Your Absentee Ballot Request Form

  • Please complete all fields and double check your work to ensure your information is correct.
  • You are not required to include your phone number and email address on your ballot request form, but election officials have encouraged voters to provide their phone number and/or email address. If there is a problem with your application, the information may help your county auditor contact you more quickly and resolve any issues.
  • The “ID Number” field asks for an Iowa driver’s license number, a state ID number OR a “four-digit voter PIN.” If you have an Iowa driver’s license or Iowa State ID, you can use that number and you don’t need a voter PIN (but you can request a voter PIN from your county auditor if you wish).
  • If you don’t have an Iowa driver’s license or state ID, you should receive an “Iowa Voter ID Card” in the mail after you register to vote. The four-digit PIN on that card goes in the “Four-Digit Voter PIN” field on your absentee ballot request form. If you don’t have a voter identification card, call your county auditor. Note: A voter card is NOT the same as a voter card. Your voter PIN is NOT the last 4 digits of your Social Security Number.
  • Sign and date the form.
voting lisense

Iowa Secretary of State


This is an example of an Iowa voter ID card. Voters who do not have an Iowa driver’s license or state ID will need their own voter ID PIN, as shown on this card, to request a voter ballot. absentee ballot.

Reminder: Your ballot application must be He received by your county auditor before 5:00 pm on Monday, October 24.

If you want to deliver your absentee ballot application in person, you must deliver your absentee ballot application form to someone at your county auditor’s office by 5 pm on October 24.

If you receive a phone call, letter, or email from your county auditor about possible problems with your ballot application, please respond as soon as possible to ensure you receive a ballot.

Track Your Absentee Ballot

Iowa voters can track their absentee ballot on the Secretary of State’s website. Ballot applications will appear in this tracker when the application is received by the county auditor and entered into the elections administration system. County auditors can begin mailing absentee ballots to voters on October 19, and then you can track your ballot through the absentee voting process. If you have concerns about your ballot application or whether your ballot was received, you may call your county auditor. Your absentee ballot must be received by the county auditors by 8:00 pm on Election Day, November 8, for your absentee ballot to be counted.

Voting in person early or on Election Day, November 8, are also voting options. Early voting in person begins at county elections offices on October 19. Polling places will be open on Election Day, November 8, from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

If you still have questions about absentee voting, contact your county auditor.

Download and print an absentee ballot request form

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