Vote From Home - HeadCount

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
10/05/2020
Early Voting Begins
11/02/2020
Early Voting Ends

Vote By Mail Deadlines

10/24/2020
Deadline to Request Ballot (Received by)
11/03/2020
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 and request, fill out, and return your ballot while there.

How Vote By Mail Works in Iowa

Step 1: Request your ballot NOW. The deadline for your application to be received is Oct. 24th at 5 p.m.

  • Due to COVID-19, Iowa will mail absentee ballot applications to all registered voters. You can return the state-issued application or request your ballot here.
Step 2: Complete and return your ballot ASAP.
  • Return in person to your county auditor on or before Nov. 3rd.
  • Stamp and mail your ballot. Ballots must be postmarked by Nov. 2nd and received by the following Monday to be counted. To make your postmark date, put the ballot into your home mailbox for collection at least one day prior to ensure it is picked up and processed. You can also drop the ballot off at the post office before the last posted collection time on Nov. 3rd. We recommend returning ASAP.

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 your 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.

How You Can Return Your Mail-in Ballot

By Mail

You must add a stamp when mailing in your ballot.

In Person

  • Local elections office

If you designate someone else to return your ballot for you, it must be returned within 72 hours, or before the close of polls on Election Day if that preceeds 72 hours.

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. 2nd, 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. Which 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