Iowa voting issues
This page is part of the Election Protection Wiki,
Election and registration information
Election Day registration
As of January 1, 2008, you may register to vote on Election Day at the polling place for the precinct you currently live in. If you register to vote on Election Day, you will be required to show proof of identity and residency.
Voter ID requirements
You may need to show identification at the polls on Election Day if:
- You register to vote by mail after January 1, 2003, and you have never voted in a primary or general election in your county;
- Your voter registration is inactive;
- You have moved from the address where you are registered to vote;
- Your right to vote is challenged; or
- The precinct election officials do not know you.
If you are asked to show identification, you may use any of the following forms of identification if it has your name and current address:
- A current and valid photo ID (driver's license, non-driver ID card, or student ID card);
- Current utility bill;
- Current bank statement, paycheck or government check; or
- Other current government document.
If your name is not on the list of registered voters or if someone challenges your right to vote on Election Day, you have the right to cast a provisional ballot. Your ballot will be placed in an envelope that has a place for you to explain why you believe your ballot should be counted.
A special board will meet after Election Day to review your registration record and the information you provided. The board will then decide if your ballot can be counted. Before you leave the polls on Election Day, you will be given a written notice explaining your voting rights and listing the date on which the special ballot board will meet so you may be present to observe and present more information to the board.
If your ballot is not counted, you will receive a letter in the mail explaining why it was not counted.
- Main article: Provisional voting
For the 2008 election Iowa used the following voting machines. For a county-by-county list of the specific machines (and the source for this section) see Verified Voting's Verifier tool.
- Main article: Voting machines
Optical scan machines:
Assistive Devices for Marking Paper Ballots:
Secretary of State Michael Mauro
- Elections website:http://www.sos.state.ia.us/elections/index.html
- First Floor, Lucas Building
- 321 E. 12th St.
- Des Moines, IA 50319
- 515-281-7142 (Fax)
- Email: email@example.com
For an extensive log of voting machine problems, see the VotersUnite! report on election incidents.
State voter registration procedures
Student voting rights
- Nov 6, 2008: A Poweshiek County special precinct board has ruled that the votes of Grinnell College students who neglected to include their campus PO box address on their absentee ballots must be counted. Republican Party co-chairs in Poweshiek County had asked election officials to disallow votes from 50 students; the students, who are assigned their own post office box address on campus, had instead used the general campus mailing address on their absentee ballots. However, according to the Poweshiek County Auditor, students have used the general address in past elections without issue.
State and local non-governmental election organizations
Iowa Voters for Open and Transparent Elections
Description: More a blog than a full-fledged organization, but an active one, and the author can put interested parties in contact with each other.
League of Women Voters
LWV of Iowa, Mrs. Audrey Hauter, President
- P.O. Box 93775
- Des Moines, IA 50393-3775
- Phone: 515-283-8544
- Black Hawk - Bremer
- Cedar Rapids/Marion
- Hamilton County
- Johnson County
- Metro Des Moines
- Muscatine County
- Sioux City
- Upper Iowa
Articles and resources
- The main page on election protection and reform organizations.
- All articles in the Election Protection Wiki project.
- For election day: Things citizens can do to monitor elections and If you are told you cannot vote.
- ↑ See the VotersUnite! Election Problem Log.
- ↑ Staci Hupp, Grinnell students' ballots will count, Des Moines Register, November 7, 2008.
- ↑ Staci Hupp, "Grinnell College students' ballots challenged," Des Moines Register (Iowa), November 4, 2008.
- GoVote.org locates your polling place and other voting information.
- Google map polling locations locates most polling location, may be missing or out of date.
Election Protection hotlines
- 866-OUR-VOTE (National Election Protection Hotline)
- 888-VE-Y-VOTA (Español)
- 800-966-5946 (AALDEF, Asian languages)
- 866-MYVOTE1 (Tom Joyner Hotline - VoterAction, NAACP National Voter Fund)
- 877-523-2792 (ACLU Voting Rights Project Hotline)
- 877-US4-OBAMA (Obama campaign Voter Hotline)
- 866-976-VOTE (McCain campaign Honest and Open Election hotline - leave a message)
- 877-GOCNN08 (CNN Voter Problem Tipline)
- 888-VOTE-TIP (VelvetRevolution Election Protection Hotline for fraud)
- 567-258-VOTE (Twitter Vote Report key in report or leave audio message)
- ACLU's "Know Your Voting Rights - State by State" -- printable brochures summarizing your voting rights, for most states.
- One-page know your rights summaries for 27 states from the AFL-CIO.
- Click here to see the voter ID requirements in all states. From the National Conference of State Legislatures.
Election officials, election reform groups, and elected officials
- Why Tuesday? offers a page for Iowa that helps locate Iowa's elections officials, election reform groups, and elected officials, as well as a page titled Find a group in your area that lets you find similar information for other states.
- Click here to request an absentee ballot. Go Vote Absentee is a project of the Women Donors Network.
- Information for voters with disabilities from NDRN.
Student voting rights
- See Iowa Student Voting Rights for a guide to student voting rights in Iowa. See Student Voting Rights for a guide to other states. From the Brennan Center for Justice.
- See how organizations you trust recommend you vote on ballot measures and other statewide contests at TransparentDemocracy.
- Help in other languages from the U.S. Election Assistance Commission. 中文, 日本語, 한국어, Tagalog, Tiếng Việt, Español
- Verified Voting's Iowa page, which provides detailed information on voting equipment in use in every county in Iowa.
- Election Law @ Moritz's Iowa page, which provides detailed information on election law developments in Iowa. See map page to see the information for election developments in any given state.
- Election Law @ Moritz's Iowa general information page, which provides information on Iowa election authorities, post-election processes, and other topics. See map page to see this information for any given state.