Going into Election Day, Iowa has already broken previous election records. Secretary of State Paul Pate reported Monday morning that 2,095,580 had registered to vote in the state leading up to the 2020 election. By comparison, the last high watermark for registration was 2016 when 1,996,153 were registered to vote.

Further breaking records, more people are voting absentee than ever before in the state’s history. As of Monday morning, 1,036,409 Iowans had requested absentee ballots for the 2020 presidential election, and 955,971 absentee ballots had been received by county auditors. Absentee ballots can still be dropped off in-person at the County Auditor’s Office.

But the 1.1 million registered voters who didn’t vote early still have a chance to make their vote count by voting in-person.

On Tuesday, polls open at 7 a.m. and close at 9 p.m.


You can register to vote on Election Day

The state allows voters to register to vote on Election Day. To do so, you must find the right polling place for your address (more on that below).

On Election Day, you must be able to prove both who you are and where you live. The most efficient way to do this is with an Iowa driver’s license with your current address printed on it. If you do not have an Iowa driver’s license, you may use a photo ID that is current, valid and contains an expiration date. The following are acceptable IDs:

  • An Iowa-issued non-operator ID.
  • An out-of-state driver’s license or non-operator ID.
  • A U.S. passport.
  • A U.S. military or veteran ID.
  • An ID card issued by an employer.
  • A student ID issued by an Iowa high school or college.
  • A tribal ID card/document.

Note: Due to an emergency directive from Secretary of State Paul Pate, acceptable IDs that have an expiration date of January 1, 2020, or later shall be considered current and valid for 2020 elections.

If your photo ID doesn’t contain your current address, you can still prove your residence with other documents on Election Day. The document must contain your name and current address and have been issued within the last 45 days. The Secretary of State’s Office offers the following:

  • A residential lease.
  • A utility bill (including a cell phone bill).
  • A bank statement.
  • A paycheck.
  • A government check or another government document.
  • A property tax statement.

If you cannot prove who you are and where you live via documents, a registered voter can attest for you. Both you and the attester must sign an oath swearing the statements being made are true. Doing so falsely is considered a Class D felony punishable by up to $7,500 in fines and 5 years in prison.

Am I registered to vote?

With an internet connection, a voter can confirm online whether they are registered to vote. The Secretary of State’s website requires your first and last name as well as your zip code. With that information, you can learn if you are already registered and if your registration is current.

► SOS Website: Am I registered to vote in Iowa?

What do I need to bring with me to vote?

Here are some things to bring and to leave at home before heading out to the polls:

A valid ID: Iowa voters must show a valid ID (see above list) before they can vote. If they lack an ID and cannot get a registered voter to attest to their identity, they may fill out a provisional ballot and follow up with a valid ID up until the county’s canvass of votes is completed on Monday, Nov. 9.

Political buttons and clothing: While voters are allowed to wear buttons and other articles espousing their support for a particular candidate, they must leave the polling place once they are done voting. Loitering around a polling place while wearing a campaign button is considered electioneering or election misconduct in the third degree, a serious misdemeanor.

Poll workers and poll watchers can not wear political items at the polling place.

Children: Children can accompany a parent to the voting booth.

Can you change your vote?

Once you have voted — whether through a polling place, a satellite location or the in-person drive-thru early voting — you cannot change your vote.

Once a mailed absentee ballot is received by the Auditor’s Office, it cannot be changed. A voter can void their absentee ballot up until it reaches the Auditor’s Office.


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How do I know where to vote?

With an internet connection, a voter can find their polling place online. With their zip code and address, the Secretary of State’s polling place finder can zero in on which precinct and offer an address and even a link to the map.

A full list of polling locations is below.

What’s on the ballot?

U.S. President: The marquee race is for the White House. President Donald Trump, head of the Republican Party, makes his case for four more years, and former Vice President Joe Biden argues for a new path.

U.S. Senate: Incumbent Republican U.S. Sen. Joni Ernst and her opponent, Democrat Theresa Greenfield, are in a tight race. The seat is home to the second most expensive Senate race in the country. The pair spent $16.5 million combined in the first two weeks of October alone.

Iowa’s 2nd Congressional District: Two women — both with Iowa Legislature experience — are running for U.S. Rep. Dave Loebsack’s open seat in Iowa’s 2nd Congressional District. The district covers the southeastern quarter of the state. Democrat Rita Hart and Republican Mariannette Miller-Meeks are locked in what one poll called the “tightest battle in the state.”

Iowa House District 73: Republican incumbent State Rep. Bobby Kaufmann is facing Democrat challenger Sheriff Lonny Pulkrabek for Iowa House District 73. The district includes the northeast corner of Johnson County including Solon, Scott Township and Newport Township. It also includes all of Cedar County representing Tipton, West Branch, Durant, Rochester, Mechanicsville, Stanwood, Clarence, Lowden and Bennett. It also covers Muscatine County’s city of Wilton.

Johnson County Board of Supervisors: The Board of Supervisors have three seats on the ballot this November. Democratic incumbents Lisa Green-Douglass, Royceann Porter and Rod Sullivan will all be on the ballot. Republican Challenger Phil Hemingway is also in the race.

Uncontested State Legislative races: District 74 Rep. Dave Jacoby, D-Coralville; District 77 Rep. Amy Nielsen, D-North Liberty; District 85 Rep. Christina Bohannan, D-Iowa City; and District 86 Rep. Mary Mascher, D-Iowa City, are on the ballot in uncontested races this November.

Uncontested County Partisan races: After winning his Democratic primary, Brad Kunkel is uncontested in his race for Johnson County Sheriff. Johnson County Auditor Travis Weipert is also uncontested in his race for reelection.

Judicial Retention (a ‘Yes’-‘No’ vote): For the Iowa Supreme Court, Judges Thomas Waterman, Susan Kay Christensen, Edward Mansfield and Christopher McDonald are up for retention. For the Iowa Court of Appeals, Judges Sharon Soorholtz Greer, Thomas N. Bower, David May and Julie A. Schumacher are up for retention. For Iowa District 6, Judges Fae Ellen Hoover-Grinde, Jason D. Besler and Mary Elizabeth Chicchelly are up for retention. Also for Iowa District 6, Associate Judges Casey D. Jones, Russell G. Keast, Cynthia Smith Finley and Angeline Johnston are up for retention.

Iowa Constitutional Convention: The only public measure on the ballot this year asks — as the constitution requires the state to do every 10 years — whether the state should hold a convention to revise the constitution.

► More: Should Iowa hold a constitutional convention? It’s on the ballot this year.

If I voted absentee can I track my ballot? 

With an internet connection, a voter can track their absentee ballot online. You will need your first and last name and date of birth to see whether it’s made it to the auditor’s office.

If you have any questions, contact your county auditor’s office.

► SOS Website: Track your absentee ballot.

Full list of polling place locations:

  • Big Grove (Senate District 37/House District 73) – Solon Public Library, 320 W Main St
  • Cedar (Senate District 37/House District 73) – Solon Fire Station, 131 N Iowa St
  • Clear Creek including Tiffin (Senate District 39/House District 77) – Clear Creek Amana West Campus Building, 331 W Marengo Rd
  • Coralville 1 (Senate District 37/House District 74) – Coralville Public Library, 1401 5th St
  • Coralville 2 (Senate District 37/House District 74) – Brown Deer Golf Club, 1900 Country Club Dr
  • Coralville 3 (Senate District 37/House District 74) – Kirkwood Regional Center, 2301 Oakdale Blvd
  • Coralville 4 (Senate District 37/House District 74) – Coralville City Hall, 1512 7th St 
  • Coralville 5 (Senate District 37/House District 74) – Northwest Jr. High School, 1507 8th St
  • Coralville 6 (Senate District 37/House District 74) – Wickham Elem. School, 601 Oakdale Blvd
  • Coralville 7 (Senate District 37/House District 74) – North Ridge Pavilion, 2250 Holiday Rd
  • Fremont-Lincoln Includes Lone Tree (Senate District 39/House District 77) – Lone Tree Middle School/High School, 303 South Devoe St.
  • Graham (Senate District 37/House District 73) – Celebration Farm, 4696 Robin Woods Ln NE
  • Hardin (Senate District 39/House District 77) – Waldschmidt Hall, 2012 400th St SW
  • Hills (Senate District 43/House District 86) – Hills Community Center, 110 Main St E 
  • Iowa City 1 (Senate District 43/House District 85) – Lucas Elem. School, 830 Southlawn Dr
  • Iowa City 2 (Senate District 43/House District 86) – Horn Elem. School, 600 Koser Ave
  • Iowa City 3 (Senate District 43/House District 86) – Carver Hawkeye Arena, 1 Elliott Dr
  • Iowa City 4 (Senate District 43/House District 85) – UI Visual Arts Building, 107 River St
  • Iowa City 5 (Senate District 43/House District 85) – Campus Recreation and Wellness Center, 309 S. Madison St.
  • Iowa City 6 (Senate District 43/House District 86) – Mercer Park Recreation Center, 2701 Bradford Dr
  • Iowa City 7 (Senate District 37/House District 74) – West High School, 2901 Melrose Ave
  • Iowa City 8 (Senate District 37/House District 74) – Irving Weber School, 3850 Rohret Rd SW
  • Iowa City 9 (Senate District 37/House District 74) – UI Athletic Hall of Fame, 2425 Prairie Meadow Dr
  • Iowa City 10 (includes East Lucas SW) (Senate District 43/House District 86) – Terry Trueblood Recreation Area, 579 McCollister Blvd
  • Iowa City 11 (Senate District 43/House District 86) – Campus Recreation and Wellness Center, 309 S. Madison St.
  • Iowa City 12 (Includes East Lucas SE) (Senate District 43/House District 86) – Alexander Elem. School, 3571 Sycamore St
  • Iowa City 13 (Senate District 43/House District 86) – West High School, 2901 Melrose Ave
  • Iowa City 14 (Senate District 43/House District 86) – Twain Elem. School, 1355 Deforest Ave
  • Iowa City 15 (Senate District 43/House District 86) – Kirkwood Community College Iowa City Campus, 1816 Lower Muscatine Rd
  • Iowa City 16 (Senate District 43/House District 85) – Mercer Park Recreation Center, 2701 Bradford Dr
  • Iowa City 17 (Senate District 43/House District 85) – Our Redeemer Lutheran Church, 2301 E Court St
  • Iowa City 18 (Senate District 43/House District 86) – Longfellow Elem. School, 1130 Seymour Ave
  • Iowa City 19 (Senate District 43/House District 85) – Robert A. Lee Recreation Center (Lower Level East Entrance), 220 S Gilbert St
  • Iowa City 20 (Senate District 43/House District 85) – Robert A. Lee Recreation Center (Lower Level East Entrance), 220 S Gilbert St
  • Iowa City 21 (Senate District 43/House District 85) – Mann Elem. School, 521 N Dodge St
  • Iowa City 22 (Senate District 43/House District 85) – Parkview Church, 15 Foster Rd
  • Iowa City 23 (Senate District 43/House District 85) – Iowa City School District Main Office, 1725 N Dodge St
  • Iowa City 24 (Senate District 43/House District 85) – Hoover Elem. School (new), 1355 Barrington Rd
  • Jefferson East Includes Shueyville (Senate District 39/House District 77) – Shueyville Community Building, 2863 120th St NE
  • Jefferson West-Monroe Includes Swisher (Senate District 39/House District 77) – Shueyville Community Building, 2863 120th St NE
  • Liberty-Pleasant Valley (Senate District 39/House District 77) – Hills Community Center, 110 Main St E
  • Newport (Senate District 37/House District 73) – Celebration Farm, 4696 Robin Woods Ln NE
  • North Liberty 1 (Senate District 39/House District 77) – North Liberty Recreation Center, Jones Gym, 520 W Cherry St
  • North Liberty 2 (Senate District 39/House District 77) – Garner Elem. School, 80 Birch St
  • North Liberty 3 (Senate District 39/House District 77) – South Slope Communications, 980 N Front St
  • North Liberty 4 (Senate District 39/House District 77) – North Central Jr. High, 180 E Forevergreen Rd.
  • North Liberty 5 (Senate District 39/House District 77) – North Liberty Recreation Center, Roberts Gym, 520 W Cherry St
  • North Liberty 6 includes Madison and Clear Creek North (Senate District 39/House District 77) –North Bend Elem. School, 2230 St Andrews Drive
  • Oxford – Includes both township and city of Oxford (Senate District 39/House District 77) – Oxford City Hall, 205 N Augusta Ave
  • Penn-East Lucas North (Senate District 37/House District 74) – Liberty High School, 1400 S. Dubuque St
  • Scott Includes Johnson Co. portion of city of West Branch (Senate District 37/House District 73) – Iowa City Church of Christ, 4643 American Legion Rd SE
  • Sharon (Senate District 39/House District 77) – Sharon Center Methodist Church, 2804 520th St SW
  • Sample Ballot
  • Solon (Senate District 37/House District 73) – Solon City Hall, 101 N Iowa St
  • Union (Senate District 39/House District 77) – Johnson County SEATS, 4810 Melrose Ave W
  • University Heights (Senate District 43/House District 86) – University Heights Community Center, 1302 Melrose Ave
  • Washington (Senate District 39/House District 77) – Mid-Prairie HSEC, 1592 Angle Rd SW
  • West Lucas (Senate District 39/House District 77) – Johnson County ISU Extension, 3109 Old Highway 218 S

Zachary Oren Smith writes about government, growth and development for the Iowa City Press-Citizen. Reach him at [email protected], at 319 -339-7354 or on Twitter via @Zacharyos.

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