Any registered voter may vote by absentee ballot. You do not need to give a specific reason or explanation for voting by absentee ballot.

Voting by absentee ballot includes voting by mail, in person at the county auditor's office, in person at a satellite voting station prior to election day, or by having a ballot delivered if you live at a health care facility or are a patient in a hospital.

To vote by mail, you must request a ballot early enough before election day to allow time for your ballot to be mailed to you and for you to return your ballot to the county auditor on time. You must request an absentee ballot in writing, either by letter or by using an "Application for Absentee Ballot" request form. You may call the county auditor's office and they will mail you the form. The request must include the name or date of the election, your name and address on your registration; address where the ballot should be mailed, political party (only for June primary election); your signature; and your current address if you have moved from the address where you are registered. The request for an absentee ballot may be sent by FAX to the county auditor's office. However, you must also mail the original request to the county auditor and it must be postmarked before election day.

Voted absentee ballots may be returned by mail or in person. If returned by mail, ballots must be postmarked no later than the day before the election and received by the county auditor no later than noon on the Monday following the primary election, general election, and most other elections. The deadline is earlier for school elections and elections for cities with runoff provisions. If returned in person, ballots may be delivered by the voter or the voter's designee to the office of the county auditor where the ballot was obtained. Ballots must be returned no later than the time the polls close for that election. Absentee ballots should not be returned to polling places, unless the person who requested the ballot wants to vote at the polls. No absentee ballots delivered to the polling places will be counted.

To vote in person prior to an election, you may go to the county auditor's office or a satellite voting station. You cannot take the ballot home with you. The county auditor's office is open on the Saturday before primary and general elections. On election day, you may not vote by absentee ballot at the county auditor's office or a satellite voting station.

If you are a resident of a health care facility or hospital in the same county where you are registered, you may apply in writing as described above. A ballot will be delivered to you by a special bipartisan team of election officials. The ballot will also be returned to the auditor's office for you.

For primary and general elections, ballots are required by law to be ready no later than 40 days before the election. For other elections, absentee ballots are made available as soon as possible. Check with the county auditor's office for the specific date.

You may request an absentee ballot as early as ten weeks before the election. The ballot will be mailed to you as soon as it is ready. If your absentee ballot request is received after the ballots are printed, it will be mailed within 24 hours. If your ballot is delayed, check with the county auditor's office to be sure that the request was received.

Absentee ballots need not be witnessed or notarized.

All provisions for absentee voting are subject to change by the legislature.

Special provisions are made for voters who are members of the U.S. armed forces, who are overseas, or who are patients in hospitals or other health care facilities.

For more information contact: Office of the Secretary of State, Hoover State Office Building, Des Moines 50319; 515-281-5865 voice/TTY or 1-888-SOS-VOTE; or your county auditor.


You may register to vote by postcard form or in person if:

1. You are a citizen of the United States.

2. You are a resident of Iowa.

3. You will be at least 18 years old on or before election day.

NOTE: If you are 17 1/2 years old, you may register to vote, but your registration will not be effective until your 18th birthday.

If you move within the county where you are registered to vote, you may change your address before the close of registration:

1. By notifying the county auditor in writing. Include your full name as it appears on the voter registration records, your old and new addresses, and your signature. If more than one person is submitting a change, each person must
sign the notice.

2. By completing a postcard registration form. Only one change may be submitted on each postcard.

3. By making the change in person at the county auditor's office or other registration sites.

For more information contact: Voter Registration, Hoover State Office Building, 515/281-5865; Des Moines 50319; or your county auditor.