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(The Center Square) – Absentee voting for the Nov. 2 city/school election begins Wednesday following changes Iowa legislators made this year to elections laws in SF 413.

Those changes included bumping the start of absentee voting from 29 days to 20 days before an election. Iowans can vote at the auditor’s office or satellite locations, and they can track absentee ballots here.

Oct. 18 is the deadline for early registration for voting in the Nov. 2 election and requesting absentee ballots be mailed. Voters now have four fewer days than they had in the past. Iowans can still register to vote on Election Day, and they can now deposit ballots in a county-provided dropbox that will be under video surveillance.

Iowa Secretary of State Communications Director Kevin Hall said in an email to The Daily Iowan that “there are approximately 1.3 million households in the state of Iowa, and almost every one of them has its own drop box: the mailbox. There are also 4,000 blue mailboxes across the state that are available for anyone to utilize for requesting and returning their absentee ballot,” the University of Iowa newspaper reported.

Voters interested in voting absentee via mail must make that request, either by contacting their county auditor or print the ballot from the auditor’s website. Absentee ballots must be received by auditors by 8 p.m. on Election Day for them to be counted.

To register to vote, voters must show one of the following:

  • Iowa Driver’s License (not expired more than 90 days)
  • Iowa Non-Operator’s ID (not expired more than 90 days)
  • U.S. Passport (not expired)
  • U.S. Military ID or Veteran ID (not expired)
  • Iowa Voter ID PIN card (must be signed)
  • Tribal ID Card/Document (must be signed, with photo, not expired)

“Voters who are unable to show ID (or prove residence if required) may have their identities attested to by another register voter in the precinct or have the right to cast a provisional ballot,” according to the Iowa Secretary of State’s website regarding voting.

Polls will close at 8 p.m., not 9 p.m., on Election Day, and employers must allow employees two consecutive hours to vote on Election Day if they don’t already have two consecutive hours off during the hours that polls are open. Voters can find their precinct/polling place here.

The Iowa State Association of County Auditors published a factsheet on these changes and more. They recommended residents call their respective country auditor with any questions.

This article originally ran on

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