Absentee Voting FAQ
- How do I request an absentee ballot?
- Do I need to get my request for an absentee ballot notarized or witnessed?
- Can someone with the power of attorney request an absentee ballot on a voter's behalf?
- Does Iowa have permanent absentee voting?
- How do I mark my ballot?
- If I need assistance while voting my absentee ballot, can someone assist me?
- What can I do if I make a mistake when voting my ballot?
- What should I do if I requested an absentee ballot but I have not received it?
- What can I do if my absentee ballot was damaged/I lost my absentee ballot?
- If a voter casts an absentee ballot but dies before election day, is the ballot counted?
- I've heard that absentee ballots are only counted if they will affect the outcome of the election. Is this true?
For information on how to request an absentee ballot and to download and print a fillable absentee ballot request form, visit Requesting a Ballot.
Absentee ballot requests do not need to be notarized or witnessed in Iowa.
An individual who has power of attorney does not have the authority to sign a voter registration form, request an absentee ballot, or cast an absentee ballot on behalf of the voter. If a voter is unable to sign, the voter can use a rubber stamp or mark to sign. The voter may also ask for assistance and have someone sign the form on the voter's behalf as long as it is done in the voter's presence and with the voter's permission.
Iowa does not have permanent absentee voting. Voters must complete a request for an absentee ballot for each election for which they would like an absentee ballot.
Included with your absentee ballot, your county auditor will provide instructions on how to mark your ballot and return your ballot. Follow the instructions provided.
If you need help marking your ballot due to a physical disability or inability to read the ballot, you may choose any person to help you except your employer, your employer's agent, or an officer/agent of your union.
If you are not physically able to sign the forms, you can use a rubber stamp or mark to sign. You may also ask for assistance or have someone sign the form on your behalf as long as it is in your presence and with your permission.
If you make a mistake while voting your absentee ballot, contact your county auditor for help. There are also procedures for "spoiling" mailed absentee ballots that are sent with your absentee ballot.
You can track your absentee ballot online by using the Track Your Absentee Ballot search. You can see the date your absentee ballot request was processed by the county auditor, the date the auditor sent your ballot, and the date the auditor received your voted ballot.
If you have questions about the information displayed in the search, please contact your county auditor for help.
If you cannot vote your absentee ballot because it was damaged or destroyed or you lost it, contact your county auditor for help. There are procedures for obtaining replacement ballots.
Iowa law prohibits these ballots from being counted if the county auditor is notified of the death before absentee ballots are considered.
I've heard that absentee ballots are only counted if they will affect the outcome of the election. Is this true?
All absentee ballots that are received on time are considered for counting. Absentee ballots received by Election Day are counted on Election Day. Ballots received after Election Day but before the deadline are counted when the absentee and special voters' precinct board meets as long as they are postmarked the day before Election Day or earlier.