How to Exercise Your Right to Vote in Iowa
Even with accommodating voting laws, Iowans should understand their rightsBy Doug Mentes, Esq. | Last updated on January 12, 2023
Use these links to jump to different sections:
Who Can Vote in Iowa?To be eligible to vote in Iowa, a person must be 18 years old, as well as a U.S. and Iowa resident. Residence is described as the place in which a person declares their home with the intent to remain there permanently, or for a definite, indefinite or indeterminable length of time. Iowa residents who then move out-of-state are still eligible to vote in Iowa until that person is eligible to vote in their new state. Residents convicted of a felony under Iowa or federal laws are ineligible to vote until their voting rights are restored. Individuals with felony convictions can apply online through the Iowa governor’s office for executive clemency, which restores the right to vote and the right to hold public office.
How to Register on Election DayIowans can check online to see if they are registered to vote with the secretary of state’s office. Regardless, eligible voters can both register to vote on Election Day by appearing in person at their precinct’s polling place where they reside. They must complete a voter registration application, make a written oath and provide proof of identity and residence. The best way to establish identity and residence is to present a current and valid Iowa driver’s license or Iowa non-operator’s identification card, or by presenting any of the following current and valid forms of identification:
- Out-of-state driver’s license or non-driver ID
- U.S. passport
- U.S. military ID
- Employee ID card
- High school or college ID
- Tribal ID
- Residential lease
- Utility bill
- Bank statement
- Government check or document
Iowa Will Purge Voter RegistrationsIowa law allows the purging of voter registrations. If a registered voter does not vote in two consecutive general elections (general elections occurring every two years) and fails to register again or report a change to an existing registration, the voter’s registration may be canceled. The secretary of state will send notices to registered voters who meet these conditions, warning that the voter’s registration will be canceled unless the voter responds. Voter registrations will also be canceled for Iowa voters who later register to vote in another state. Iowa voters who experience problems at the polls with their registrations should seek out the advice of an experienced Iowa civil rights attorney, who can inform them of their rights and options. For more information on this area of law, see our civil rights overview.
What do I do next?Enter your location below to get connected with a qualified attorney today.
Popular attorney searches: Constitutional Law Disability Discrimination
Attorney directory searches
Find top lawyers with confidence
The Super Lawyers patented selection process is peer influenced and research driven, selecting the top 5% of attorneys to the Super Lawyers lists each year. We know lawyers and make it easy to connect with them.Find a lawyer near you