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Soliciting Voter Registrations and Absentee Requests

Soliciting Voter Registrations and Absentee Requests

Collecting Voter Registration Forms

Candidates and groups do not have to register with the Secretary of State's Office to hold a voter registration drive. Individuals may print and make copies of the voter registration form. They can also contact the Secretary of State’s Office or the county auditor to purchase copies of voter registration forms at cost.

Groups who collect forms on behalf of a political party, nonparty political organization, candidate or committee must submit collected registration forms to to the appropriate county auditor within seven days of receiving the form. A person who collects a completed voter registration form from an applicant within three days of the voter registration deadline, must submit the form to the appropriate commissioner within twenty-four hours of receiving the form.

Groups may pay people to help others register to vote. Iowa law prohibits paying someone based on the number of registration forms or political party affiliations collected. Payment can be made only for a person's time. The Democratic and Republican parties are exempt from this requirement.

Collecting Absentee Ballot Request Forms

Individuals acting as representatives of a political party, candidate or committee (as defined by Iowa Code Chapter 68A) may solicit and collect absentee ballot request forms from voters.

An individual acting in this capacity must use the official absentee ballot request form with receipt prescribed by the Secretary of State's Office. They can print and make copies of the official request form with receipt. They may also contact the Secretary of State's Office or the county auditor to purchase copies at cost.

The collected request forms must be returned to the county auditor's office within 72 hours of receiving the form or no later than 5 p.m. on the deadline to request an absentee ballot, whichever is earlier. An application received by a representative of a political party after the deadline, but before the date of the election must return the application to the appropriate county auditor within twenty-four hours.

The receipt must be given to voters. The receipt must include the following:

  • Name and contact number of the person collecting the forms,
  • Name of the political party, candidate, or committee the person represents,
  • Name of the voter,
  • Date and time the request was received from the voter,
  • Name and date of election the request is for,
  • Statement that the request form will be delivered to the county auditor within 72 hours of receiving the form or no later than 5 p.m. on the deadline to request an absentee ballot, whichever is earlier, and
  • Statement that an absentee ballot will be mailed to the voter within 24 hours after the county auditor receives the request or within 24 hours of when the ballots are available.