Guide to voter ID rules in Iowa as of 1/1/2018. For questions or help obtaining IA ID to vote, call VoteRiders’ toll-free Voter ID Helpline: 844-338-8743.
What is a valid form of ID to show at the polls?
- Iowa Driver's License
- Iowa Non-Operator's ID
- U.S. Passport
- Military ID
- Veteran's ID
- Voter ID Card
When do voters have to start showing ID at the polls?
During calendar year 2018 voters will be asked to show their ID before voting at the polls. Anyone who does not have the necessary ID will be asked to sign an oath verifying their identity, and will be allowed to cast a regular ballot.
Beginning January 1, 2019, Iowa voters will be required to show a driver’s license, non-driver’s ID, passport, military ID, veterans ID, or Voter ID Card at the polls before they vote. Voters without the necessary ID will be offered a provisional ballot and can provide ID up until the time of the county canvass of votes (Monday after election day for Primary and General Elections).
What about voters who don’t have an ID?
Any registered voter who does not have valid driver's license or non-operators ID issued by the Iowa Department of Transportation will be issued a Voter ID Card for free, automatically, in the mail. This also applies to anyone who registers to vote in the future. Upon receipt of the Voter ID Card in the mail, it should be immediately signed and placed in the voter’s purse or wallet, and taken with them to vote. Obtaining the Voter ID Card does not require any further documentation or action by the voter. Voters simply need to be registered, and take their new Voter ID Card to the polls when they vote.
What if I lose my ID or forget to take it to the polls?
Voters may request a replacement Voter Identification Card from their county auditors if they have misplaced the one that was sent to them. If they forget to bring their Voter ID Card to the polls, they may either vote a provisional ballot or have another voter attest to their identity. NO ELIGIBLE VOTERS WILL BE TURNED AWAY.
Is ID required for absentee ballots?
YES. Beginning January 1, 2018, voters requesting absentee ballots will be required to include their driver’s license/non-driver’s ID numbers on their request form. Voters receiving the Voter ID Card will be required to include their card’s four-digit PIN number on the absentee ballot request form.
How does this law affect voter registration?
This law does not affect Iowa’s voter registration process. There are still multiple ways to register to vote, including at the polls on Election Day, and online. Voters registering on Election Day still need to bring a picture ID and proof of residency in the precinct, like a utility bill. This has not been changed from previous elections.
What are provisional ballots and how do they work?
Provisional ballots provide a way for voters to cast their ballots on Election Day if there is a question about their eligibility to vote. Voters will be offered a provisional ballot if the voter had been sent an absentee ballot, if the voter does not provide ID when required, or if the voter is challenged by another registered voter. Provisional ballots are sealed in a secure envelope after the voter has marked the ballot. The ballot envelope is reviewed later by the absentee board. Provisional voters receive a notice on Election Day with information about the reason for the challenge and whether they need to provide additional documentation regarding their eligibility.