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Absentee Voting FAQ

Absentee Voting FAQ

How do I request an absentee ballot?

A registered voter may make written application to their County Auditor for an absentee ballot. A written application for a mailed absentee ballot must be received by the voter's County Auditor no later than 5:00 p.m. 10 days before a General Election or 11 days before any other election.

In order to receive an absentee ballot, a registered voter MUST provide the following necessary information:

  • Name
  • Date of birth
  • Iowa residential address
  • Voter Verification Number (ID Number)
    • Iowa Driver's License or Non-Operator ID Number OR
    • Four digit Voter PIN located on the voter's Iowa Voter ID Card
    • Any voter may request an Iowa Voter ID Card by contacting their County Auditor's Office
  • The name OR date of the election for which you are requesting an absentee ballot
  • Party affiliation - only required for Primary Elections, which are held in even numbered years
  • Signature

For information on how to request an absentee ballot and to download and print a fillable absentee ballot request form, visit Requesting a Ballot.

All voters are encouraged to provide their phone number and/or email address in the event their County Auditor needs to confirm any information on the request form.

If you have questions about absentee voting, please contact your County Auditor.

For information on how to request an absentee ballot and to download and print a fillable absentee ballot request form, visit Requesting a Ballot.

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Do I need to get my request for an absentee ballot notarized or witnessed?

No.

Absentee ballot requests do not need to be notarized or witnessed in Iowa.

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Can someone with the power of attorney request an absentee ballot on a voter's behalf?

No.

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.

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Does Iowa have permanent absentee voting?

No.

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.

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How do I mark my 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.

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If I need assistance while voting my absentee ballot, can someone assist me?

Yes.

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.

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What can I do if I make a mistake when voting my ballot?

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.

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What should I do if I requested an absentee ballot but I have not received it?

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.

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What can I do if my absentee ballot was damaged/I lost my absentee ballot?

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.

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If a voter casts an absentee ballot but dies before Election Day, is the ballot counted?

No.

Iowa law prohibits these ballots from being counted if the county auditor is notified of the death before absentee ballots are considered.

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I've heard that absentee ballots are only counted if they will affect the outcome of the election. Is this true?

No.

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.

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