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The Ins + Outs of Registering to Vote, Voting in Iowa

Vote in 2020

July 8, 2020

With the General Election a few months away, the Greater Des Moines Partnership wants our Members and Investors to be prepared to vote. Follow the steps below to ensure you can participate this fall.

The General Election will take place on Tuesday, November 3, 2020.

Register to Vote

You can register to vote online, through the mail or in person on Election Day. You must be a U.S. Citizen, an Iowa resident and 18 years of age on Election Day. You cannot be a convicted felon, unless you have had your rights restored, be judged mentally incompetent to vote by a court or claim the right to vote in any other place.

Request an Absentee Ballot

After you are registered to vote in Iowa, you can request an absentee ballot or vote at the polls. Beginning Monday, July 6 Iowa voters can request an absentee ballot from your county auditors. However, county auditors cannot mail ballots until Monday, October 5.

Get Educated

Visit sos.iowa.gov for a state and federal candidate list and your county auditor site for local election candidates and sample ballots. Take the time to research what is on your ballot before it arrives in the mail or you arrive at the polls.


If you decide to vote absentee, ensure your ballot is filled out and postmarked no later than Monday, November 2 or you can hand deliver them to your county auditor by 9 p.m. on Election Day. If you choose to vote in person, bring a required photo ID, which may be an Iowa Driver’s License (not expired more than 90 days), Iowa Non-Operator ID (not expired more than 90 days), U.S. Passport (not expired), U.S. Military ID or Veteran ID (not expired), Iowa Voter Identification Card (must be signed) or Tribal ID Card/Document (must be signed, with photo, not expired). Double check your polling location at sos.iowa.gov as it may have changed due to COVID-19.

If you have any questions regarding this process you can reach out to The Partnership’s Public Policy team, your county auditor or the Secretary of State’s office.

The Greater Des Moines Partnership is the economic and community development organization that serves Greater Des Moines (DSM), Iowa. Together with 24 Affiliate Chambers of Commerce, more than 6,500 Regional Business Members and more than 365 Investors, The Partnership drives economic growth with one voice, one mission and as one region. Through innovation, strategic planning and global collaboration, The Partnership grows opportunity, helps create jobs and promotes DSM as the best place to build a business, a career and a future. Learn more at DSMpartnership.com.

Ryan Moon

Ryan Moon is public policy manager at the Greater Des Moines Partnership.