Early &
Mail-in Voting
in Iowa

Warning: Mail-in voting is a convenient and safe way to vote, but your ballot might not count if it's submitted late or with errors. So follow the directions below on how to vote early or absentee and make your vote count in Iowa.

Note - this information below may change for your state due to ongoing litigation and legislation. This page will be updated within 24 hours of any change.

Vote Before Election Day

Vote Early In Person
Early Voting Begins
Early Voting Ends

Vote By Mail Deadlines

Deadline to Request Ballot (Received by)
Deadline to Return Ballot (Received By)

In-Person Absentee Voting

You can vote in-person absentee in your state.

To vote in person absentee, go to your county auditor's office or a satellite voting location and request, fill out, and return your ballot while there.

How Vote By Mail Works in Iowa

Voting by mail is a two step process in Iowa. Step 1: Request your ballot NOW. The deadline for your application to be received by mail or in person is September 24th at 5 p.m.  Step 2: Complete and return your ballot ASAP.

  • Return in person to your county auditor on or before October 10th at 8 p.m.
  • Stamp and mail your ballot. Ballots must be received by October 10th at 8 p.m. to be counted. We recommend mailing your ballot at least two weeks before as the post office is not always reliable. The best intentions or postmark will not matter if your ballot is received after Election Day - your ballot will not count.

Request Your Ballot See Your Ballot Look Up Ballot Drop Off Locations

You may vote by mail for any reason

You don’t need an excuse to request an absentee ballot. You can vote by mail for any reason.

Remember to Sign Your Return Ballot

After you complete your ballot, be sure to sign the affidavit on the back of the envelope. Double check to make sure you signed the affidavit on the envelope! If you forget to sign your envelope your ballot may be tossed and not count.

Use The Right Form of ID

Iowa voters must show valid photo ID when voting in person. Info here on what qualifies. You do not need to submit a copy of your photo ID when voting by mail. If voting by mail the signature on the ballot must match the signature on the voter registration form.

How You Can Return Your Mail-in Ballot

By Mail

Your postage is prepaid.

By Courier

Return your ballot via commercial delivery services, such as FedEx or UPS (at your expense)

In Person

  • Local elections office
  • Drop box

A member of your immediate family, someone in your household, or your caretaker may return your absentee ballot.

Look Up Ballot Drop Off Locations

Make Sure Your Mail-in Vote Counts

Click here to track your ballot. Your state offers electronic, barcode ballot tracking services so you can make sure your ballot gets counted. Your state has a cure period, which means you can “cure” a challenge to the signature on your ballot if it was done incorrectly. Your local elections office is required to contact you and give you options to remedy your ballot. You may cure your ballot by Nov. 7th, or vote in person on Election Day. You may get a call from a number you do not recognize with a notification that you need to cure your ballot. Be sure to pick up so you don't miss your chance to make sure that your vote is counted.

Haven't used your ballot?

If you would like to vote in person, return your unused ballot to your polling site and request an in person ballot on Election Day. If you do not bring your ballot, you may be asked to use a provisional ballot. This is better than not voting, but may not be counted.

Election Protection Hotline

The national, nonpartisan Election Protection coalition was formed to ensure that all voters have an equal opportunity to participate in the political process. Made up of more than 100 local, state and national partners, Election Protection works year-round to advance and defend the right to vote.

Call 866-OUR-VOTE if you need assistance.

More about voting in Iowa

Find your polling place, ID laws, and more about voting for the first time below.

Voting Info for Iowa First Time Voter Info