Voting Law Changes - Identification Required

Beginning as early as December of 2017, voters will be required to present specified identification (ID) in order to vote. If you are on record with the Iowa Department of Transporation (DOT) as having a driver's license or a nonoperator's ID, you will need to present that card at the polls.

Voter Identification Card

If you do not have a DOT-provided ID, the Iowa Secretary of State's Office will send you a voter identification card for voting purposes. This will be a new form, and the voter ID cards provided in the past by counties will not be accepted.

Acceptable Forms of ID

Other acceptable forms of identification are a U.S. passport or a U.S. military or veteran ID


  • If the voter has none of these, the voter may present multiple forms of identification to establish identity and residence. The law is specific about these forms.
  • If the voter has no eligible forms of ID, another voter of the same precinct may attest to the identity and residence of the voter by signing a prescribed oath. A voter may only attest for two voters for any given election, but such an attester may also attest for one other person who needs to register to vote on election day.
  • One more exception, until January 1, 2019, a registered voter with no acceptable ID shall be permitted to vote by signing a prescribed oath attesting to the voter's identity.

Unable to Establish an Identity

A voter unable to establish an identity as described shall be permitted to cast a provisional ballot. In order for the provisional ballot to be counted, the voter must provide the necessary identification to the Election Office before the deadline for receiving absentee ballots before the election canvass. This is usually noon on the Monday following the election. (It is earlier for school elections and for cities that potentially have runoff elections.)

Absentee Voting

These provisions are effective on January 1, 2018. The first day to vote an absentee ballot in the County Auditor's Office or at a satellite voting location is changed from 40 days before the election to 29 days before the election. Applications for absentee ballots delivered to the County Auditor's Office must be received 10 days before general elections and 11 days before all other elections. The previous deadline was four days before the election.

Other Changes in the Law

  • Straight party voting is eliminated, effective immediately. All candidate choices must be individually marked on a ballot to receive votes.
  • If a registered voter declines jury duty giving non-citizenship or non-residency as justification, the voter's registration will be canceled.
  • Effective January 1, 2019, 17-year-olds may register to vote, but they may not vote until age 18. However, if a voter will turn 18 on or before the general election, the voter may vote in the primary election while still 17.

These are not all of the changes in the law. For more information, contact the Election Office at 712-527-3146 or email the Auditor.